Representative Mike Lawler (R-NY) has raised serious allegations against the Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, questioning their journalists’ prior knowledge of the October 7th Hamas attack, which resulted in over 1,200 casualties.
Lawler, along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, is drafting letters to these news agencies demanding explanations for their actions surrounding the attack, which the outlets have previously denied any foreknowledge of.
Controversy over journalists’ reporting in Israeli-Gaza conflict
Lawler criticized the journalists, stating, “That these journalists would knowingly not share this information, and in the process save thousands of Israeli and Gazan lives, is simply beyond the pale.”
The concern arose after a report from Honest Reporting, which led to the Israeli government’s press office director, Nitzan Chen, accusing the agencies of being “alongside Hamas terrorists, documenting the murder of Israeli civilians, lynching of soldier and kidnappings to Gaza,” as reported in a letter obtained by Politico.
McCaul addresses journalists’ alleged foreknowledge in conflict reporting
Michael McCaul, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, echoed Lawler’s sentiments.
McCaul remarked on the moral implications if the journalists had prior knowledge of the attack and remained silent: “If the allegations are true, and the journalists had prior knowledge of this deadly attack, yet said nothing, is morally repugnant and need to be thoroughly investigated.”
McCaul on media’s role in countering Hamas propaganda
McCaul also emphasized the responsibility of these news outlets, beyond just authenticating images, to ensure they are not inadvertently spreading Hamas propaganda.
“It’s not enough to just verify the authenticity of images – these outlets have a moral obligation to ensure they aren’t being used as pawns to spread Hamas propaganda,” he said.
AP, Reuters deny foreknowledge in conflict reporting allegations
In response to these allegations, both the Associated Press and Reuters have categorically denied any involvement or foreknowledge.
The AP clarified, “The first pictures AP received from any freelancer show they were taken more than an hour after the attacks began. No AP staff were at the border at the time of the attacks, nor did any AP staffer cross the border at any time.”
Media giants deny foreknowledge claims; Lawler calls for inquiry
Similarly, Reuters stated that their staff “were not on the ground at the locations referred to in the Honest Reporting article” and firmly denied having “prior knowledge of the attack or that we embedded journalists with Hamas on Oct. 7.”
Despite these denials, Lawler insists on thoroughly investigating the truth.
Lawler encourages news outlets’ to ‘come clean’ on October 7th attack knowledge
He urges the news organizations to “come clean” about any possible advance notice or involvement their employees or contractors might have had in the October 7th attacks.
“These companies must come clean about any involvement or advance notice their contractors or employees may have had of the October 7th massacres,” Lawler stated.
Lawler advocates for truth in news outlets’ role in October 7th events
He emphasized the need for clarity and transparency, adding, “It should not be hard for both news outlets to provide answers, and we must get to the bottom of this. We demand the truth.”
The allegations and subsequent denials have created a situation requiring further investigation to establish the facts surrounding the journalists’ actions and knowledge before the tragic events of October 7th.