Associated Deceit

Fresh investigation into faulty AP reporting during Gaza war again shows the importance of finding a trusted source of news

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It is estimated that the Associated Press (AP) news content is seen by half the world’s population, according to the wire agency’s website. Yet even this most highly respected of news agencies used staged pictures and omitted information in a reckless attempt to paint Israel as a rogue nation indiscriminately slaughtering women and children during last year’s Gaza war.

For example, to the left is an emotionally stirring photo that provoked the world’s anger against Israel’s military operations against Hamas. It was picked up by more than 280 AP affiliates worldwide, 1,400 daily newspapers in America and thousands of TV and radio broadcast stations.

AP now admits, after an investigation by The Mideast Reporter, that the picture is staged and that they were using children to pose for this and many other photographs they distributed about the war in Gaza.

There are strict rules prohibiting news agencies from staging pictures, especially using children, but the AP had no problem breaking those rules while assuring their subscribers, customers and audience that their photos tell the unbiased truth.

Staged photographs are in direct violation of even AP’s own statement of News Values and Principles: “We don’t stage or re-enact events for the camera or microphone. We do not ask people to pose for photos unless we are making a portrait and then we clearly state that in the caption.”

This photo is certainly not a portrait, but a powerful piece of anti-Israel propaganda designed to stir condemnation of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Nor did the original caption tell anyone that this picture was staged.

What the caption did state was even more deceptive. “The attack killed his father, a Hamas policeman.” The sign in Arabic reads, “House of martyr Mostafa Jamal Malakeh.”

But Malakeh was no “policeman.” He was a well-known Hamas militant. He was the local commander of the “Al-Zeitoun Battalions” of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. This is the same group that had fired more than 8,000 rockets into Israel since 2005.

All of this is public information and can be seen on a YouTube video memorializing Malakeh. The AP chose to ignore these well known facts in reporting on Malakeh’s death in order to make it sound as though Israeli soldiers had killed a civilian policeman.

This is but one of many examples of late that have made clear that it is impossible to rely on the mainstream international media for a clear picture of the situation in Israel.

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