Diane Sawyer of ABC News apologized on-air after misidentifying a group of Palestinians who survived a missile strike on their home as Israelis.
During Tuesday evening's "World News" broadcast, Sawyer showed viewers a powerful picture of two men gathering up their possessions among a field of bombed-out rubble. As the segment kicked off, she said, "We take you overseas now to the rockets raining down on Israel . . . And here an Israeli family trying to salvage what they can, one woman standing speechless among the ruins."
The photo, however, was taken by Khalil Hamra of The Associated Press. The picture included a caption that reads, "Palestinians try to salvage what they can of their belongings from the rubble of a house destroyed by an overnight Israeli airstrike in Gaza City Tuesday." The caption was clearly missed by Sawyer's news team.
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After receiving a few messages on social media and email, the team realized their mistake, and subsequently apologized. ABC released a statement to Facebook and Twitter, and Sawyer apologized on-air as well.
Fair.org took issue
with the mistake, saying it portrayed bias on the part of the news team.
"ABC's error should be seen less as a simple mistake, and more as a reflection of a worldview," it wrote in a blog post.
"[M]edia trying to paint the conflict as between equals [is] a type of false balance that treats the threats to Israeli lives and Palestinians lives as similar . . . At this point, the rockets targeting Israel have done very little damage. There are no reported Israeli deaths. But the fact that dozens of Palestinians had died, including several children, by the time ABC aired its report apparently did not cause them to consider this more newsworthy than Israeli fear."
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