by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Tablet’s Armin Rosen, a really great reporter who’s no stranger to covering Israel and the Middle East, had this to say about the erroneous media coverage of a missile that supposedly hit a hospital in Gaza on Wednesday:
“Last night was the worst media f-ckup I’ve ever seen. In terms of the range/seriousness of info gotten wrong, #/prestige/geographic diversity of outlets that f-cked up, overall credulousness, real-world impact, the lack of reflection/remorse etc. Scores a 10 in every category.”
As a true connoisseur of media malpractice, I’m not sure it’s the worst ever, but it’s a definite contender. Because I’m old school, and I like to keep my kids offline, I have a hard copy of The Wall Street Journal delivered to my house every day. A WSJ subscription is not cheap. In fact, I pay hundreds of dollars a year for home delivery, and I do this in spite of the fact I have serious issues with the paper.
The news pages have never shared the conservative bent of the editorial pages — in fact, the internal political tensions between the two sections of the paper have been playing out rather publicly in recent years — and slide into hysterical and ideological coverage by the WSJ news team has been noticeable. Wednesday morning, I woke up to the headline you see above: “Blast at Gaza Hospital Kills Hundreds.” The second paragraph credulously cites Hamas officials blaming Israel for the attack and saying 500 were killed, before citing Israeli denials. Of course, by the time the paper landed in my yard that morning, people had been blowing holes in Hamas’ credulous claims about the attack for hours.
Indeed, according to American intelligence officials, the blast was caused by a Hamas rocket that fell short, validating Israeli claims about what happened.