What does it say about Associated Press reporters’ investigative skills that, for 15 years, they allegedly shared a building with Hamas and didn’t know it?
That is the question raised by the New York Post in an editorial on Monday that addressed the AP’s purported ignorance.
The story is just part of the aftermath of an airstrike by the Israeli Defense Forces that destroyed the office building where the AP and Al-Jazeera were housed in Gaza. IDF issued a warning to the media in the building an hour before the strike so that everyone could safely evacuate the area.
The IDF maintained that the building housed a military intelligence operation.
“The building contained civilian media offices,” it said in a tweet on Saturday, “which Hamas hides behind and deliberately uses as human shields.”
After providing advance warning to civilians & time to evacuate, IDF fighter jets struck a multi-story building containing Hamas military intelligence assets.
The building contained civilian media offices, which Hamas hides behind and deliberately uses as human shields. pic.twitter.com/zeDjEquePD
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 15, 2021
Despite the IDF’s explanation and its warning, the AP ran a story shortly after the strike that quoted Al-Jazeera acting director-general Mostefa Souag as calling the strike a “war crime” designed to “silence the media.”
The accusation was, of course, baseless, and offered one more piece of evidence of just how deranged the establishment media have become in their anti-Israel bias.
AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement Thursday that his organization “had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building. This is something we actively check to the best of our ability.”
For its part, Israel shared evidence for its assertions with President Joe Biden, who evidently found it satisfactory enough to warrant the strike, according to The Jerusalem Post.
As such, the AP’s posture appears to be explained only by incompetence, dishonesty or both. Either way, it is not worthy of trust.
It is a fact that the New York Post’s editorial board called out simply enough.
“If it’s true that AP was so unaware — and the evidence suggests it’s unlikely — how can anyone trust its reporting in the region?” the board asked.
Alas, the establishment media’s tawdry affair with Hamas terrorism is anything but novel.
Former AP journalist Matti Friedman acknowledged as much in an article he wrote for The Atlantic in 2014 that detailed how the AP and other outlets regularly gave cover to Hamas’ terror and shifted blame to Israel.
“During my time at the AP, we helped Hamas get this point across with a school of reporting that might be classified as ‘Surprising Signs of Moderation’ (a direct precursor to the ‘Muslim Brotherhood Is Actually Liberal’ school that enjoyed a brief vogue in Egypt),” Friedman wrote.
“Around the same time, I was informed by the bureau’s senior editors that our Palestinian reporter in Gaza couldn’t possibly provide critical coverage of Hamas because doing so would put him in danger,” he said.
As Israel keeps up with its defense against the bloody atrocities of Hamas, it is perhaps not surprising that reporters on the ground in Gaza might be intimidated into silence by the terrorists with whom they shared a building.
What is not acceptable, however, is the continued peddling of anti-Jewish and pro-terror narratives that undermine security and the pursuit of truth everywhere.
“The AP ‘news story,’ which stated without evidence that Israel was targeting reporters to silence them, says nothing about what happened but a great deal about journalism,” Friedman tweeted in response to the AP’s coverage of the strike.
The AP “news story,” which stated without evidence that Israel was targeting reporters to silence them, says nothing about what happened but a great deal about journalism. It’s an enormous problem for sane people just trying to get a handle on complex and disturbing events.
— Matti Friedman (@MattiFriedman) May 16, 2021
An enormous problem indeed, and one that bears remembering anytime one sees an AP story on the Middle East.
Unfortunately for everyone, the news organization appears intent on doubling down on its mission to undermine Israeli sovereignty.
In his statement, Pruitt said, “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.”
That claim was, of course, a falsehood.
The world knows less than it should about what is going on in Gaza because the AP refused to document the terrorists with whom it shared a building for more than a decade.
Or, as the New York Post editorial staff so eloquently put it, “It seems that what AP doesn’t know — and doesn’t report — always favors Hamas over those the group terrorizes.”
One can only wonder how long it will be until the establishment media report the facts as they are rather than how they would like them to be.
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