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There’s a report out there which claims that reporters from AP, Reuters and stringers for CNN, NYT et al were actually embedded with the Hamas death squads that swept into southern Israel on October 7th. If they were embedded they had some foreknowledge of the operation. They might even have been able to stop it.

I first saw this story posted by a writer for The National Review and I read the report. I was highly skeptical but I was curious to see what the argument or evidence was.

In short, the whole ‘report’ was a crock. I wouldn’t even say it contains false information per se. It’s really just a matter of a pile of leading questions or questions framed as leading inevitably to very dark conclusions when that’s not the case at all. It basically amounts to saying, hey there were photos and video of Hamas fighters with hostages or streaming through the barrier fence. How did the reporters know to be there? How did they get into Israel from the Gaza Strip? Did they go through the fence too?

They show photos and video many of us have now seen of hostages being carted off and other things and then focus on the photographers who filed the photos. How did they know to be there, etc? Other journalists and stringers show up in the crowds in some of those photos. How did they know to be there?

These facts and questions just mean nothing. I don’t know how else to put it. War correspondents get to all sorts of places. The whole concept of “embedded” war correspondents is only about 30 years old. This was obviously a big operation and I’m sure reporters rushed to see what was happening. It’s quite possible that at the beginning or early in the operation some Hamas operatives called reporters and said, “head to the fence at this guard station”. You go. That’s what reporters do. It certainly doesn’t mean anyone was “embedded” or had any meaningful foreknowledge of what was happening.

It’s certainly possible that some Gazan reporters had some foreknowledge, though I strongly doubt it since operational secrecy was so critical to the whole operation. But I saw nothing in the report that raised any real questions for me at all. What I read was basically innuendo aimed at people who don’t know how journalism works.

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