In light of a FAIR report characterizing the misidentification of Gaza photos on ABC News as “an embarrassing mistake” and a “reflection of a worldview,” I’m compelled to point out that it was nothing of the kind. It was, rather, a deliberate falsification.
On its July 8 news broadcast, ABC News mischaracterized a photograph of a Palestinian family devastated by an Israeli strike, as an Israeli family after an attack by Palestinian rockets:
As reported by Huffington Post,
This was the picture in question. It was taken by the AP’s Khalil Hamra. The caption 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.”
In the July 8 broadcast, Diane Sawyer told viewers that the picture showed “An Israeli family trying to salvage what they can.”
Note that the phrase “trying to salvage what they can” is lifted directly from the AP caption attached to the photo, which unambiguously identifies the victims as Palestinians.
Clearly, ABC’s newswriter read the caption, stole the evocative phrasing, and swapped in “Israeli family” for “Palestinians.”
This is no mere “mistake” reflecting unconscious political bias. It is a conscious attempt to deceive.