Lanny Davis: News Reporting on Gaza Violates Journalistic Tenets

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 11:24 AM

By Melissa Clyne

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The majority of the news media is reporting only half the story on the Gaza-Israel conflict, ignoring a fundamental tenet of journalism: tell both sides of the story, Lanny Davis, former special counsel to President Bill Clinton, told Newsmax TV on Monday.

Especially lacking has been the reporting of CNN and MSNBC, Davis said, noting that those networks repeatedly fail to inform viewers that "Israel is acting in self-defense and doing everything it can, beyond what any army that I know of in history has ever done, to warn Hamas and the civilians where the rockets are headed."

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Hamas is notorious for using civilians as human shields by placing missiles inside schools and hospitals. When innocent people are injured or killed, Hamas uses the incident to wage a worldwide propaganda campaign to place the blame on Israel, says Davis.

"It's indisputable that Hamas is using these civilian sites as human shields — women and children in schools, hospitals, as shields where they put their missiles," he said. "That's a defined war crime. The number of journalists who saw these terrible scenes in Gaza who then say however and add the indisputable fact that I have just described are few and far between."

He gave kudos to Fox News for offering the most balanced coverage and took NBC and CBS News to task, singling out NBC anchor Brian Williams, for failing to ask a correspondent reporting on the civilian deaths about Hamas' strategy of placing civilians directly in harm's way.

"[Williams] didn't ask the correspondent, well, isn't it true that these children that we just saw are intentionally used by Hamas as shields where they place missiles in schools, hospitals, and in their homes," he said, "where the home is one part an arsenal of missiles and the second part of the home is supposedly where people live, and also add that Israel warns by dropping leaflets, sending text messages, placing phone calls 'we are about to bomb, get out.' No other army I know of in world history has ever done that."

Though Davis said he thinks Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are pro-Israel, he does have some beefs with them.

"My concerns and my respectful disagreements right now is they are making false statements," he said, noting that Kerry should be in the Middle East trying to broker a peace deal, not Europe.

"I don't know what Secretary Kerry thinks he's getting out of Europeans when he ought to be in the Middle East working with Egypt," he said.

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