When the press fails to be objective in times of crisis, the truth becomes harder to find. To prove it, one need look no further than the media’s coverage of the Israeli-Hamas conflict.
The Hamas terrorist attack on Israeli civilians on October 7 and the corresponding rise in displays of antisemitism across the west have created chaos — both in the streets and on social media.
A reasonable observer would expect the media to cover ongoing seismic events as impartial conveyers of information, especially given the high stakes for global and social stability. Objectivity is the expectation of the press by the public, and the promise made by the media itself. Yet in recent weeks the media has failed time and again to uphold its stated values at a time when it is needed the most.
One bombshell report claims that freelance photojournalists in several legacy media outlets such as AP, Reuters, CNN, and the New York Times were embedded with Hamas during the October 7 attacks. Photojournalist Hassan Eslaiah, who works for CNN and AP, was seen standing next to Yahya Sanwar, the mastermind behind the October 7 massacre. He also snapped a photograph of a group of Hamas terrorists infiltrating a kibbutz and burning a house.
The New York Times’s coverage of the October 7 attacks did not use the word “terrorist.” One particularly notable headline reads, “Gaza Militants Fire Rockets and Enter Israel in Surprise Assault.” The Washington Post stealth edited a report in which they said Israeli women and children who were abducted by Hamas were merely “detained.”
Related and equally concerning is the news that over 750 current and former global journalists signed a petition demanding that media coverage cast Israel’s response to the Hamas terrorist attack as “genocide” and “apartheid.” Journalists from Reuters, Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, and The Washington Post are among the petition’s signatories.
The Head of BBC’s Global Service, Liliane Landor, told journalists during a meeting that “it is wrong to use expressions like ‘massacre’ to describe Hamas’s behavior.”
And after police arrested a pro-Palestinian protester on charges of manslaughter for causing the death of elderly pro-Israel demonstrator Paul Kessler, CNN covered the story under the banner headline: “Arrest made in death of Jewish protester who fell and hit his head.”
Such reporting isn’t just egregious; it’s dangerous. In times of war, a single misreported fact has the potential to affect the course of geopolitics, social stability, and the war itself.
It comes as little surprise that only 7% of Americans have a “great deal” of trust in the media according to public polling. There is no hope for that number to increase unless media outlets reverse course, address bias, and show the public that their one and only standard is truth.