Hamas

By Kyle Drennen | July 29, 2014 | 12:15 PM EDT

On Tuesday, only NBC's Today covered Israel's heavy criticism of the Obama administration's effort to pushed a Hamas-backed cease-fire plan in Gaza. At the top of the broadcast, co-host Savannah Guthrie proclaimed: "...the Obama administration goes on the defensive after Israeli media rip John Kerry's efforts to make peace." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

In the report that followed, correspondent Kate Snow observed: "The public and the press seem to have turned on Kerry. Take a look at the headline in this morning's paper. 'Obama and Kerry,' it says, 'are playing with fire.'"

By Tom Blumer | July 29, 2014 | 12:09 AM EDT

As yours truly noted a week ago, journalists who have ventured into Gaza operate under coverage restrictions imposed by Hamas, the terrorist group which controls it. Based on the tenor of their coverage, the New York Times and other organizations are complying with Hamas's constraints, usually without telling their readers, listeners, and viewers. This of course begs the question of why those reporters and photographers stay there — unless they'd like to leave and are being prevented from doing so.

A little onsite reality leaked out of Gaza today, in the form of two tweets from Wall Street Journal reporters based there, before they were quickly withdrawn. Twitter user Yair_Rosenberg caught them before they disappeared. They provide evidence that a rocket strike at a Gaza hospital which killed many Palestinians was the result of an errant Hamas rocket, not an Israeli strike:

By Curtis Houck | July 28, 2014 | 5:45 PM EDT

CBS This Morning aired multiple excerpts on Monday morning of co-host Charlie Rose’s interview with Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, that will air on Rose’s PBS show on Monday night. In the excerpts that were aired, Rose allowed him to compare the Palestinian people in their fighting with Israel to Americans waging war with the British in the America Revolution. Further, Meshaal denied any possibility that, in his mind, a state of Israel could co-exist with any Palestinian state.

In the first excerpt, which aired in the 7:00 a.m. hour, Rose began by citing former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who said that “Hamas was perfectly well aware of what would happen” if they shot rockets toward Israel and that “they have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so the rest of the world will condemn them”. Rose cited Clinton as someone who isn’t Israeli, but was “a man who worked hard to create peace between Palestinians and Israelis.” [MP3 audio here; Video below]

By Tom Blumer | July 28, 2014 | 5:04 PM EDT

Of all the Associated Press reporters out there, Matt Lee, whose beat is the State Department, appears to have the least patience with the pablum (and worse) he is expected to swallow from the Obama administration.

In September of last year, as the situation in Syria escalated, Obama administration Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a non-mandatory request for a Congressional vote on U.S. military involvement in Syria. After hearing State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki defend that proposal as "courageous," Lee, after getting a non-response to a question as why it was courageous, famously asked: "Was there some kind of, like, group spine-removal op procedure at the White House over the weekend?" Though he may not have exercised the best judgment this morning in posting the tweet which follows the jump, at least we can say that Lee hasn't taken up permanent residence in the wire service's otherwise very crowded water-carrier wing:

By Tom Blumer | July 28, 2014 | 4:01 PM EDT

The Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, wants Americans to know that the Obama adminisration is really, really upset — but not at Hamas for committing terrorist acts, using women and children as human shields, and digging tunnels for the purpose of mass-murdering civilians on Rosh Hashanah.

No-no-no. Team Obama is "fuming" (i.e., their poor little feeeeewings are hurt) because Israeli officials and the Israeli media — even its liberal wing — are furiously criticizing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for apparently doing all he can to sell out the Jewish state's positions in attempting to negotiate a ceasefire with Hamas.

By Kyle Drennen | July 28, 2014 | 12:59 PM EDT

On Monday's NBC Today, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel worried that Hamas was not getting enough out of a temporary cease-fire agreement with Israel: "What is Hamas getting in return? So far, nothing. No deal, no immediate lifting of the closure of the Gaza Strip. Just a reprieve from Israel's assault that has flattened entire Gaza neighborhoods and killed more than a thousand Palestinians, many of them civilians, many of them children." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Engel continued to outline the demands from the Palestinian terrorist organization: "The war could easily escalate again. Hamas wants an agreement to end the fighting, not for Israel to unilaterally scale back the assault on its own terms."

By Matthew Philbin | July 21, 2014 | 2:44 PM EDT

Dear Guardian, thanks for making this easy! Rarely are a media outlet’s prejudices and blinkered sense of moral equivalence more in evidence than in two stories on the left-wing British newspaper’s site.

Exhibit A: A 461-word July 19 story picked up from the AP. Boko Haram killed more than 100 people when the Islamist group entered a town in North Eastern Nigeria on July 20. They “attacked the town of Damboa before dawn on Friday, firing rocket-propelled grenades, throwing homemade bombs into homes and gunning down people as they tried to escape the ensuing fires.” The accompanying photo captioned as “A screengrab taken on 13 July from a video released by Boko Haram shows the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau.”

By Tom Blumer | July 21, 2014 | 12:45 PM EDT

Sunday evening, Noah Pollak at the Weekly Standard noted that "Something important is missing from the New York Times's coverage of the war in Gaza: photographs of terrorist attacks on Israel, and pictures of Hamas fighters, tunnels, weaponry, and use of human shields."

That's because Hamas has demanded that such photographs not be circulated. The Times is clearly complying, and without telling its readers that is coverage has been restricted. Pollak believes that the Times really doesn't mind the overt censorship (links are in original; bolds are mine throughout this post):

By Matthew Philbin | July 16, 2014 | 10:35 AM EDT

As many as 90,000 of France’s 350,000 Jews – more than one fourth – were murdered in the Holocaust, within living memory. So when Jewish synagogues and businesses are attacked in Paris by mobs chanting “Death to the Jews,” (on Bastille Day, no less) it ought to be news.

Not to the U.S. broadcast networks – at least not when the mob is Muslim. In Paris on Sunday, three Jews were hospitalized after a violent attack on a synagogue by pro-Palestinian demonstrators. According to the Jerusalem Post, “‘The attackers splintered off an anti-Israel demonstration and advanced toward the synagogue when it was full,’ said Alain Azria, a French Jewish journalist who covered the event.”

By Jackie Seal | July 15, 2014 | 5:31 PM EDT

Ronan Farrow, who used to report to Hillary Clinton at the State Department, was taken to school on the Tuesday edition of his eponymous program by Mark Regev, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Farrow seemed to want Regev to apologize on air for Israel’s “level of retaliation.” Regev argued that Israel is not retaliating but rather is being forced to protect its citizens from a terrorist group that has rejected a cease-fire.

By Connor Williams | July 15, 2014 | 11:40 AM EDT

The ‘blame Israel’ rhetoric from the mainstream media has shown no signs of slowing down. This time, on the July 15 edition of CNN’s New Day, host Chris Cuomo and CNN contributor Peter Beinart decried the unevenness of the war, citing high casualties on the Palestinian side while pointing to virtually nonexistent casualties on the Israeli side of the conflict.

Cuomo naturally led off his interview of Beinart with this statement: “Proportionality is a big part of this story always when there's conflict. Israel obviously has the advantage militarily...Now, on the other side from the Ministry of Health there, close to 200 deaths, 1,400 injured, many women, children, civilians, schools supposedly damaged. It takes us to the issue of proportionality. How does that play here?” [MP3 audio here; video below]

By Kyle Drennen | July 15, 2014 | 9:15 AM EDT

Reporting from the Gaza Strip during MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell Reports on July 14, NBC foreign correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin, formerly of Al Jazerra and CNN, parroted Hamas denials that it deliberately placed missile batteries in civilian buildings in Gaza [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]:

They definitely reject the labeling of using civilians as human shields....Hamas military wing people that we've been speaking to and others – not just on these past few days, but in the past several years, because this is an issue that always comes up against Hamas – they will say that this is the nature of the battlefield that they have to fight in. That this is not an issue by design, but as a reality of what Gaza is like because it's so densely populated.