American legacy media were busted last week for spreading terrorist propaganda about an “Israeli” “strike” on a Gaza “hospital” that turned out to be nothing but lies — but not before the false narrative ignited anti-America and anti-Israel fury around the world.
The narrative laundering in what was actually a story about a parking lot being hit by Gazan insurgents’ own rocket fire provided a textbook example of how our institutional media frame stories to fit their own prejudices, showing once again that however much you hate the corporate press, it’s not enough. But the hospital news cycle hasn’t been the only example from media coverage of the aftermath of Hamas’ terror attack on Israel to drive that lesson home.
Starting with — but extending far beyond — the hospital story disaster, here are seven failures from the past few weeks that should dispel any benefit of the doubt you have left for the corporate media’s honesty.
1. Running Literal Terrorist Propaganda
Nearly every major corporate outlet, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, the Associated Press, Reuters, MSNBC, Politico, Axios, and The Los Angeles Times, uncritically repeated claims from a Hamas-run “health ministry” blaming Israel for an explosion near a hospital in Gaza. Not only was placing the blame on Israel a lie, so was the pretense that the blast was a direct hit on the hospital (photos showed it actually struck the parking lot) and the claim that the explosion killed 500-plus people.
As soon as they were caught in the lie, media outlets shifted from blaming Israel outright to ambiguously claiming that Israel and Hamas were “trading blame” for the explosion.
2. NYT’s Dishonest Front-Page Photo
As its peers ran with the Hamas propaganda memo that Israel had launched a strike on a Gazan hospital, it wasn’t enough for The New York Times to regurgitate those claims uncritically. The outlet, having no photographic evidence of a leveled hospital (because it wasn’t), deceptively ran the front-page headline with a photo of a completely unrelated demolished building in a totally different city.
Also of note: The headline featured above the photo was stealth-edited at least three times, as the initially reported narrative fell apart.
3. Uncritically Citing the ‘Gaza Health Ministry’
Gaza is run by Hamas, and the region’s “ministry of health” lies to advance terrorists’ propaganda — the false narrative about the “Israeli” “strike” that killed “hundreds” in a “hospital” being just the most infamous example of recent weeks. Outlets were brutally embarrassed for regurgitating the sham agency’s lies at face value, but that hasn’t stopped many from citing the same group uncritically since then.
The Washington Post even ran an explainer to justify “Why news outlets and the U.N. rely on Gaza’s Health Ministry for death tolls,” even while noting the outfit is “an agency of the Hamas-controlled government” and acknowledging that its reported death count from the explosion in the hospital parking lot was double what U.S. authorities estimated. The Post’s defense of the terrorist-run “ministry” included this incredible line:
The Gaza Health Ministry has continued to perform its core services. Hamas received support in the 2006 elections in part by promising better social services, and some analysts say the group has improved certain areas of access.
4. The Ridiculous Debate Over Whether Babies Were ‘Beheaded’ Enough
The same media complex that took terrorists’ “health ministry” at its word refused to believe reports from the Israeli military and government that Hamas attackers, who decapitated civilians and burned alive whole families — including small children — could possibly be capable of beheading babies. Despite multiple heartbreaking reports that infants were found decapitated, media outlets worked to cast doubt on their validity.
The debate reached peak absurdity when Eric Levitz of New York Magazine’s Intelligencer claimed it was an “overstatement” to say babies were “beheaded” because babies were merely “found headless, a fact that lends plausibility to claims of beheading, but which does not prove them.”
5. Refusing to Call Hamas ‘Terrorists’
Iran-backed terror group Hamas descended on unarmed civilians in their homes and at peaceful gatherings, murdering, raping, torturing, decapitating, and kidnapping hundreds of victims before bragging about their brutality on the internet. But the Associated Press, in its “Israel-Hamas Topical Guide,” refuses to call the group or its actions “terrorist.”
The AP acknowledges that terrorism is the “calculated use of violence, especially against civilians, to create terror to disrupt and demoralize societies for political ends” — a definition Hamas’ attack that left some 1,400 Israeli victims dead clearly meets — but insists it will avoid affixing the term to “specific actions or groups” because the “terms terrorism and terrorist have become politicized, and often are applied inconsistently.”
Many outlets opted to follow the AP’s standard, calling Hamas “gunmen,” “fighters,” and “militants.”
6. Employing Terrorist Sympathizers to ‘Report’ on Terrorists
Issam Adwan, an AP reporter tasked with reporting on the unrest in the Gaza Strip following Hamas’ unprovoked attack, is an anti-Israel activist whose “reporting,” unsurprisingly, “repeatedly buries or omits the atrocities committed against Israel [on Oct. 7] in favor of elevating the plea of Gaza.”
Adwan wrote that Israel, a country he has smeared as an “apartheid” participant in “colonialism,” was “building another racist regime that is so similar to the Nazis,” in a now-deleted social media post. He has also claimed it’s “ignorant” to bring up Hamas and its atrocities “when we talk about Israeli war crimes/apartheid/enthnic cleansing.”
(Also of note: The AP shared a building with Hamas in the Gaza Strip until the building was destroyed in 2021.)
Not to be outdone, The New York Times rehired a freelancer with a known history of praising Adolf Hitler. Soliman Hijjy, who has contributed to the Times’ Gaza coverage, has made multiple social media posts celebrating the Nazi dictator, but the Times defended his work as “important” and “impartial.”
7. Turning a Blind Eye to Hamas-Sympathizing Democrats
The watchdog Media Research Center concluded that as of Oct. 22, evening broadcasts on ABC, CBS, and NBC had devoted a total of zero seconds to covering the pro-Hamas sympathies of radical Democrats in Congress.
“MRC analysts combed through all of ABC, CBS, and NBC’s evening newscasts from October 7 through October 22 for any mention of the House Democrats colloquially known as ‘the Squad,'” reported Bill D’Agostino. “Despite dedicating a whopping 525 minutes (nearly 9 hours) of airtime to the ongoing tumult in Gaza, none of these three networks gave even a second to any member of the progressive cadre.”
Congressional Democrats like Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Cori Bush have “blamed Israel” for the explosion by a Gazan rocket in a hospital parking lot, “called for stopping aid to Israel,” “accused Israel of ‘war crimes,'” and described Israel as an “apartheid” state, D’Agostino noted. Tlaib has even refused to condemn Hamas. Yet the broadcast networks decided these multiple Democrats’ vocal sympathy for a terrorist cause wasn’t worth mentioning.
However much you distrust the corporate media, it’s not enough. These aren’t the only — and certainly are not the first — instances that prove it.