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March 11, 2013

Media Outlets That Promoted Story Wrongly Faulting Israel Should Now Post Full and Clear Corrections

BBC Watch reminds readers of the chronology of a story by the BBC about a Palestinian baby, the son of a BBC staffer, Jihad Masharawi, alleged to have been killed in an Israeli air strike in November 2012. The BBC carried multiple inside stories about the death of the baby – all faulting Israel.

Last week, BBC Watch pointed out that despite the UN Human Rights Council’s finding that the baby was actually not killed by an Israeli strike, but rather by a Hamas rocket that had fallen short, the BBC was still promoting the story that falsely indicted Israel.

And it wasn’t only the BBC that advanced the story faulting Israel. The Washington Post’s Max Fisher eagerly jumped in to present “the story behind the photo” and further publicize the account of BBC’s Paul Danahar that blamed Israel.

Reporter Sara C. Nelson repeated the story in the Huffington Post.

CIF Watch demonstrated how the Guardian’s journalists ran with the story multiple times.

Other media outlets that eagerly seized on the story faulting Israel include the Independent, the Daily Mail, the Sun, the Telegraph, MSN , Yahoo, and CBC News.

So now that the story was shown to be false, which media outlets corrected or covered the UNHRC findings negating their original story?

The BBC, whose stories by Jim Donnison were particularly notable in their departure from journalistic ethics broadcast a brief World Service report on radio and posted Jim Donnison’s grudging referral to the UN’s findings negating his assertions that Israel was responsible for the explosion. But unable or unwilling to acknowledge that he was wrong to advocate a story that was false, Donnison questioned the UN’s findings, frantically sticking to any suggestion that Israel might still be to blame.

The AP covered the story, and this was picked up by The Huffington Post under the headline “Son Of BBC Reporter Jihad Al Masharawi Likely Killed By Palestinian Rocket In Gaza, Not Israeli Airstrike, UN Report Says.”

The same story was picked up by other culprits, as well. The Washington Post, for example, carried the story under the headline “UN report: Errant Palestinian rocket most likely killed Gaza baby in November clash” but has yet to run a correction on Max Fisher’s November story. CBC News posted the story under the headline “UN report: Errant Palestinian rocket most likely killed Gaza baby in November clash.”

Yahoo ran the AP story under the headline “UN: Palestinian militants likely killed Gaza baby.”

Readers should make sure to call or write to the errant media outlets that ran the original false story and make sure that they post full and clear corrections.

Posted by RH at March 11, 2013 05:36 PM


I wonder if they will repeat the correction as often as they posted the original lie

Posted by: Gee at March 11, 2013 10:51 PM

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