Media Outlets Slammed, Hit with Heinous Accusations About What Journalists Really Did with Hamas

Media Outlets Slammed, Hit with Heinous Accusations About What Journalists Really Did with Hamas

An article published by Honest Reporting on Thursday is causing major disruptions in legacy media as they are forced to defend themselves against allegations that they might have had foreknowledge of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel.

According to the report, six Gaza-based freelance journalists were present during the horrific, early morning surprise attacks, indicating they might have known about the attacks beforehand.

These freelancers had worked with The New York Times, CNN, The Associated Press and Reuters before Oct. 7, Honest Reporting said, and the outlets used photos of the Hamas massacre provided by them.

Israeli Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi made a public statement Thursday on X asking the four outlets to investigate their employees for “alleged involvement in the tragic events in southern Israel where Hamas-ISIS terrorists carried out a heinous massacre.”

“This investigation should encompass the gathering of comprehensive documentary evidence, including schedules, photographs, and any indications of actions, direct or indirect, taken by your organization in contacting the relevant authorities in your respective countries,” Karhi said.

According to Politico, the Israeli government’s press office director, Nitzan Chen, wrote to the Israel bureau chiefs of the news outlets asking for clarification about photographers.

The letter accused the photojournalists of working “alongside Hamas terrorists, documenting the murder of Israeli civilians, lynching of soldier and kidnappings to Gaza” and asked for a response regarding “disturbing findings,” the report said.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office referred to the freelancers as “accomplices in crimes against humanity.”

Retired Israeli Gen. Benny Gantz, a member of Netanyahu’s war Cabinet, said the journalists who were there at the massacre and “still chose to stand as idle bystanders while children were slaughtered — are no different than terrorists and should be treated as such.”

On Thursday, Reuters, AP, CNN and the Times vehemently denied any prior knowledge of the attacks and rejected the allegations against their freelancers.

Reuters that it had acquired photos from two Gaza-based freelance photographers who were at the border on the morning of October 7 and with whom they did not have a prior relationship. They specified that their staff journalists were not on the ground during the attacks. They added that the photographs they published were taken after Israel reported gunmen crossing the border.

The AP also denied any prior knowledge of the Oct. 7 attacks, according to CNN, saying the first pictures it received from freelancers were taken more than an hour after the attacks had begun.

The wire service also announced that it was “no longer working with” Hassan Eslaiah, a freelance photographer named in the Honest Reporting article who has been photographed being kissed by Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

The Times described the accusations as “untrue and outrageous” and emphasized the essential role of freelance photojournalists in conflict zones, defending its dedication to providing firsthand witness accounts and documenting crucial news.

It said Yousef Masoud, one of the other journalists accused in the Honest Reporting article, “was not working for The Times on the day of the attack” but had done “important work” for the newspaper in the past.

A CNN representative also denied any prior knowledge of the Oct. 7 attacks and said Eslaiah was “not working for the network on October 7th.” The network also announced the termination of its ties with Eslaiah.

The media, often referred to as the “fourth estate,” plays a crucial role in democracy as a watchdog of the government and other powerful institutions. However, the allegations that journalists had prior knowledge of Hamas’ heinous attacks raise the age-old question: Who is watching the watchers?

The denials from the media outlets do not answer the central question: What were these journalists doing with Hamas as the attacks on Israel kicked off?

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Even if the allegations of direct complicity are unfounded, there are legitimate concerns about ethical lapses or willful ignorance for the sake of a story.

The public relies on journalists to report truthfully without political motivations, but those lines have blurred beyond recognition in recent times. Once-sacrosanct ethical boundaries between journalism and activism are now hazy and ill-defined. Objectivity has been sacrificed for ideological motives across the media landscape, undermining credibility.

As this story unfolds, it’s another nail in the coffin of the public’s trust in legacy media.


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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