This week a CNN anchor was forced to apologise after she ‘misspoke’ and implied that innocent Israeli women who were murdered by Palestinian gunmen were instead involved in a ‘shootout’.
CNN, one of the main media companies that claims to be against the spreading of ‘fake news’ has itself been caught doing just that, and they never corrected the lie until six weeks after it aired.
On 10th April 2023, Christiane Amanpour was speaking to the Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh when she described the murder of three Israeli women as being part of a “shootout”.
The wording used was wrong and paints the image that an active gun fight between two parties was taking place with the women caught in the cross fire.
The truth is that the family was murdered in cold blood. They were simply driving down the road when two Palestinian gunmen opened fire on their vehicle. The vehicle crashed along the side of the road and the two gunmen walked up to their vehicle and shot them all at close range.
There were no alternative facts in this story. Three innocent Israeli, one of them being a child, were murdered in cold blood by Palestinian terrorists.
Amanpour, who has a long history of anti-Israel bias, did not correct her ‘mistake’ at any point of the interview and allowed the Palestinian Prime Minister to spout his own lies. He called Israel “terrorists” and the cause of all the problems while claiming he and the Palestinian Authority just want peace. The truth, however, is that Shtayyeh and his regime continue to support terrorism with their payments to terrorists and their families, and in recent days, Shtayyeh himself has now praised the gunmen who murdered the Dee family as being “heroes”.
Honest Reporting, an NGO that monitors the media for bias against Israel, drew attention to the interview and started a campaign to call for CNN to apologise.
On Monday, 22nd May 2023, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour issued a televised apology following the public outcry, saying, “During that live interview I misspoke and said that they were killed in a shootout, instead of a shooting.”
“I have written to Rabbi Dee to apologise and make sure that he knows that we apologise for any further pain that may have caused him,” she said.
Amanpour’s apology did not tell the full picture of the attack or that the Palestinian terrorists that murdered the three women were Hamas fighters. It was a barebones apology that Amanpour read from the teleprompter with little emotion.
Understandably, this apology has been rejected by Rabbi Leo Dee, the husband of Lucy and father of Maia and Rena Dee.
“Too little, too late, I don’t accept it,” Rabbi Dee said. He then said this wasn’t the only incident he was upset by and that CNN had a systematic bias against Israel in its coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.
“They make moral equivalencies between us and between terrorists,” he said. “They keep doing it and they have no intention to stop doing so… that’s what we’re dealing with.”
Rabbi Dee is now considering legal action against CNN with the help of renowned Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz.
It’s important that media outlets like CNN are challenged when they present false information on their shows. The show Amanpour hosts is routinely anti-Israel and gives voice to anti-Israel activists and politicians with little in the way of rebuttals. Israeli officials being interviewed, including former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, have faced a much tougher task when speaking with Amanpour and her colleagues.
During the interview last August with Amanpour, Bennett challenged her bias and repeatedly corrected her for “starting the story in the middle” in order to hide the full picture (e.g. Palestinian terrorists attacking Israel) from her audience. So this is not the first time, and it is not likely going to be the last time.
There is nothing much we can do to stop the hatred towards Israel from media outlets like CNN or their hosts. We clearly support freedom of speech here at CUFI. As Christians, we have a firm foundation for the truth, and that is the Bible. We cannot expect a secular media company to hold to the same standards we expect from Christians, but it is nonetheless important to hold them accountable, especially when they are spreading lies.