Fake news media incites riots after Gaza hospital blast
If you distrust mainstream reporting, chances are, you don’t yet distrust it enough.
Legacy media outlets worldwide could not wait even a few hours to verify some basic facts around Tuesday’s hospital blast in Gaza before laundering the terrorists’ version of events as the evening news.
“Israeli Strike Kills Hundreds in Hospital, Palestinians Say,” the New York Times reported. “Hundreds killed in explosion at a crowded Gaza hospital,” mourned NPR. The Wall Street Journal chimed in, announcing, “Israeli Airstrike on Gaza Hospital Kills More Than 500, Palestinian Officials Say”. Almost identical headlines were reproduced by the Washington Post, CNN, AP, Reuters, MSNBC, Axios, and dozens of other news bulletins. To be clear, the Gaza Health Ministry, which they all cited in their reports, is a Hamas-run agency.
But by daybreak Wednesday, footage of Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza showed the facility still standing. Photos revealed a blast zone centred on a parking lot, with damage to a dozen or so cars but no crater that would indicate the use of an IDF missile, and little way imaginable that hundreds were killed.
Israel has denied their involvement — which comes as no surprise — but their version of events certainly sounds more plausible, with US intelligence now confident the blast came from a misfired rocket from within Gaza, likely from terrorist group Islamic Jihad.
“Our current assessment, based on analysis of overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information, is that Israel is not responsible for the explosion,” according to White House National Security Council Spokesperson Adrienne Watson.
As the saying goes, a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on.
Sadly, though, this latest media scandal cannot simply be waved away with Winston Churchill-attributed quotes and appeals to the “fog of war”.
The corporate press took the word of a terrorist organisation and broadcast it globally, knowing full well the anger it could spark across the Muslim world.
And, like clockwork, mass riots formed outside US embassies right around the Middle East. In Turkey, the US consulate was attacked with fireworks and Molotov cocktails and over 40 police officers were injured as a mob attempted to break into the compound.
Similar scenes unfolded at the US embassy in Beirut, where rioters set fire to the compound and clashed with police.
The New York Times reported that “anger over the hospital blast in Gaza led to a spate of protests across the Middle East and North Africa on Tuesday night, fueling tensions in a region already rocked by war”. The outlet added that it was “mapping developments” of the unrest which, ironically, it helped incite via its fake news headlines.
Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., Democratic Representative Rashida Tlaib worked herself into an emotional mess as she blamed Israel for the blast. The crowds she incited later stormed the Cannon House Office building, part of the Capitol complex, in scenes that looked rather insurrectiony, and left conservatives wondering if decades-long prison sentences and comparisons to 9/11 or Pearl Harbour would follow.
DOJ should treat this mob of Hamas supporters the same way they treated grandmothers who wandered into the Capitol on January 6. https://t.co/2xM9qcF6l6— Tom Cotton (@TomCottonAR) October 18, 2023
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Most consequentially, the media’s unquestioned parroting of the Hamas narrative prompted Arab leaders to cancel negotiation talks with President Joe Biden, just as the US leader touched down in Israel.
Watching this string of events play out in real time is exasperating. But observing them in reverse is worse.
Beneath the New York Times headline “Israeli Strike Kills Hundreds in Hospital” was an image of a completely gutted building with crowds pawing through the rubble -- presumably the hospital. But it wasn't the hospital at all. It was a completely unrelated site in Khan Younis.
The Washington Free Beacon’s coverage of this damnable media debacle is particularly impressive, complete with all the original fake news tweets, receipts from the journalists most to blame, and a good collection of before-and-after headlines.
Bear in mind that every one of these legacy media outlets is now begging governments and Big Tech to silence their ideological opponents by regulating "misinformation", which they like to define as incorrect or misleading information that is likely to cause harm.
They are some of the worst purveyors of it.
And however much you think you distrust them, you do not yet distrust them enough.
Kurt Mahlburg is a writer and author, and an emerging Australian voice on culture and the Christian faith. He has a passion for both the philosophical and the personal, drawing on his background as a graduate architect, a primary school teacher, a missionary, and a young adult pastor.
Image credit: from American Prometheus on X (Twitter)
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