By Ryan Jones
Earlier this month US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had what they thought was a private conversation regarding their mutual dislike of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The incident occurred after the two leaders fielded questions at a G20 press conference in Paris on November 3. With their microphones still attached and apparently still turned on, Obama and Sarkozy retired to a private meeting room.
Obama started by criticizing Sarkozy for not warning him that France intended to vote in favor of recognizing "Palestine" at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) days earlier. From there, the conversation drifted toward relations with Netanyahu. According to a report on the French website Arret Sur Images, the brief conversation went like this:
Sarkozy: I can't stand him [Netanyahu]. He is a liar.
Obama: You're fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day!
Due to the microphones that Obama and Sarkozy were wearing being inadvertently left on, all members of the press who had been wearing translation headsets were able to hear the private conversation regarding Netanyahu.
Incredibly, though probably not surprisingly, the assembled members of the press agreed to sign a document promising not to publish the damning remarks. "There were discussions between journalists and they agreed not to publish the comments due to the sensitivity of the issue," and unnamed journalist told Arret Sur Images.
One must wonder if the mainstream media would have been so sensitive had Netanyahu been caught making similar remarks.
Danon: Obama's true face revealed in exchange with Sarkozy - Jerusalem Post
White House Silent on Conversation With French President Insulting Israeli Prime Minister - FOX News
McCain slams Obama for Netanyahu criticism - Washington Times
Sarkozy tells Obama Netanyahu is a 'liar' - Reuters
Sarkozy, Obama rip Netanyahu (in private) - USA Today