MSNBC: Hezbollah Helped Qana, But 'No Evidence' It Was Launching Rockets

July 31st, 2006 4:02 PM

NBC reporter Richard Engel sure has some severely selective sources. On the one hand, he's overflowing with information reinforcing the image of Hezbollah as a kindly humanitarian organization that was providing "supplies and relief" to the residents of Qana. On the other hand, he has "no evidence" that Hezbollah was using Qana residents as human shields for purposes of launching rockets.

Engel reported live from Tyre in southern Lebanon during this afternoon's 'The Most' on MSNBC, with host Alison Stewart. Speaking of events in Qana, Engel claimed:

"I got no indication [the people of Qana] were being held against their will. Just the opposite, it seemed Hezbollah was helping these people, providing them with food and water. These were some of the [poorest] people in the town, those with money had already left. They were staying in this section of town because there was food and water. Hezbollah were giving them supplies and relief."

But when it came to allegations that Hezbollah had cynically exploited the situation, Engel-the-fount-of-knowledge suddenly dried up: "Whether they [Hezbollah] took advantage of that to launch a rocket, I don't know. We didn't see evidence of that."

No evidence, really? So Engel didn't see or at least hear of the video screened yesterday by the IDF showing rocket launches from Qana? Makes you wonder who Engel's sources are.

An odd aside: Stewart actually asked Engel whether in southern Lebanon he saw "any anti-American sentiment."

Responded Engel, palpably shocked by Stewart's naivete: "Clearly. Everyone we came up to was expressing that sentiment very clearly. They were saying that it is American weapons that are being dropped on these villages and they believe that the US and Israel [are working] hand in hand."

Hope so.