— Ayman Mohyeldin (@AymanM) July 28, 2014
Something strange happened yesterday. NBC News reported that Israel bombed Al Shifa hospital located in the Gaza Strip only to later pull back the report based on statements from the Israeli military. Ayman Mohyeldin, an NBC reporter, claims there is video and pictures to back up the initial account that the attack on the hospital came from an Israeli drone.
Mohyeldin was the reporter that NBC removed after he reported on the deaths of the children Israel killed on the beach in a way not to the IDF’s liking. After protests were launched from the public Mohyeldin was reinstated. The removal of Mohyeldin by NBC was seen as emblematic of a pro-Israel bias NBC has repeatedly demonstrated, most recently by its flagship program, Meet The Press, which was caught promoting Israeli propaganda.
If Mohyeldin’s statements are correct, NBC News took down a report based on its own first hand accounts in favor of Israeli government statements. In other words, NBC News is not actually a news organization.
The attack, which reportedly killed 10 Palestinians, nine of them children, occurred at five P.M. The Israel Defense Forces released a statement fingering Palestinian rockets in the attack…
But NBC staff, including Ayman Mohyeldin, the reporter who was sent back to Gaza after being replaced by Richard Engel, say otherwise. “Early reports from the ground had said an Israeli drone appeared responsible for the attack,” NBC’s report on the incident now reads. (An earlier version of the same article, as captured and tweeted by a number of journalists, was more direct: “However, a NBC News journalist witnessed the attack on the hospital and said it had been fired by an Israeli drone.”)
Either there is evidence in NBC News’ possession that proves an Israeli drone was responsible for the attack, or there is not. A statement by the IDF or Hamas or whomever is secondary to that primary evidence. Or are journalists supposed to drop things down the memory hole now when they cover Israel?
The edits by NBC News on the Al Shifa hospital bombing are receiving interest because they play into a larger narrative not just about NBC but the American corporate media generally – that they are hopelessly pro-Israel to the point of journalistic paralysis. NBC and its mainstream colleagues can not move on stories because they are deathly afraid of being labeled anti-Israel. Which is fine as a corporate strategy, but don’t lie to the public and say you are reporting real news.