As RedState reported, several “photojournalists” were revealed to have been embedded with Hamas during the deadly October 7th terrorist attack on Israel. That immediately raised serious questions about possible foreknowledge and participation in the atrocities that occurred. In at least one instance, a journalist was seen in a video carrying a grenade while riding across the border with Hamas fighters.
What truly made this a scandal, though, was the fact that the journalists in question were contractors for major U.S. news outlets, including CNN, the AP, Reuters, and The New York Times. In fact, many of the first pictures we saw of the attacks came from those outlets paying these so-called journalists for their pictures.
But while CNN and the AP immediately cut ties and denounced what was discovered, The New York Times put out an astonishing statement. In it, the newspaper actually defended the journalist in question and claimed that they were actually the victims.
The accusation that anyone at The New York Times had advance knowledge of the Hamas attacks or accompanied Hamas terrorists during the attacks is untrue and outrageous. It is reckless to make such allegations, putting our journalists on the ground in Israel and Gaza at risk. The Times has extensively covered the Oct. 7 attacks and the war with fairness, impartiality, and an abiding understanding of the complexities of the conflict.
Given that the Times was one of the chief outlets that spread the fake story about Israel bombing the Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, a story sourced directly from Hamas, I’m going to go ahead and say that no, they haven’t covered the war with fairness, impartiality, and abiding understanding. Rather, as has happened so many times throughout history, the Times has spent much of its coverage flirting with evil, if not outright covering for it at times.
The attempt to make these journalists (and I only use that word because I’m tired of typing qualifiers) the victims in this is disgusting. The people who died on October 7th because these journalists didn’t report what was happening are the real victims, not a bunch of Hamas-sympathizing contractors.
I’ll get to why that last descriptor is apt in a moment, but here’s the rest of the statement for posterity.
The advocacy group Honest Reporting has made vague allegations about several freelance photojournalists working in Gaza, including Yousef Masoud. Though Yousef was not working for The Times on the day of the attack, he has since done important work for us. There is no evidence for Honest Reporting’s insinuations. Our review of his work shows that he was doing what photojournalists always do during major news events, documenting the tragedy as it unfolded.
We also want to speak in defense of freelance photojournalists working in conflict areas, whose jobs often require them to rush into danger to provide first-hand witness accounts and to document important news. This is the essential role of a free press in wartime. We are gravely concerned that unsupported accusations and threats to freelancers endangers them and undermines work that serves the public interest.
Let’s be clear. If Yousef Masoud rode into Israel with Hamas on October 7th, didn’t warn anyone, and then proceeded to censor his coverage based on what a terrorist group would allow, which is exactly what he did, then he’s culpable. This is not the same situation as a reporter being embedded with a traditional army in a traditional conflict. Hamas committed cold-blooded murder, targeting as many individual civilians as it could.
There is a reason these journalists didn’t publish pictures of children being killed or women being raped, both things we know happened. The reason is that they aren’t actually journalists because there are no journalists in Gaza. There are only propagandists who operate at the behest of a terrorist government. For the Times to pretend there is honest journalism going on around Hamas is laughable and immoral.
With all that said, I want to return to the idea that these journalists were just “rushing” into danger to document “important news.” This was not a situation where they just randomly showed up. They rode with Hamas for miles across Gaza, broke through the Israeli border, and continued for miles more until civilians were found to be tortured and killed. It is improbable that they weren’t notified of the attack beforehand. They didn’t just magically end up on the backs of those motorbikes.
In short, the Times defending the actions of these people is insane.