Wednesday’s Hamas Stenography: Nets Trusting Death Tallies, Interviewing Same Doctors

October 26th, 2023 9:36 AM

If this is starting to feel like Groundhog Day, we don’t blame you. On Wednesday morning and evening, the “big three” networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC used their flagship news shows to continue their nauseating roles as the world’s morality police by sympathizing with Hamas terrorists and their citizens being hit by daily barrages of Israel airstrikes after they murdered over 1,400 innocents in Israel on October 7.

In this installment, network journalists continued to take the Hamas health ministry’s death tolls as fact (despite it coming from a terrorist organization and even President Biden telling them not to trust them), interviewing the same sets of Gazan doctors, and blaming Israel for the bloodshed (instead of Hamas).

On NBC Nightly News, chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel relayed that “[t]he Middle East tonight is on the edge of disaster” as “Gaza is being flattened” with “[h]orrific images...stoking rage across the Muslim world.”

Noting Biden has “‘no confidence’ in claims from the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry that 6,500 Palestinians have been killed in the last two and a half weeks,” Engel boasted that the King of Jordan and the Egyptian president have laid into Israel for its airstrikes.

He tag-teamed with correspondent Ellison Barber for sob stories about the airstrikes and what anchor Lester Holt described as “hospitals in Gaza...struggling” with “[t]he Gaza Health Ministry says the entire system is collapsing”.  

Despite all these claims coming from Hamas, they offered these tales without pushback and had sound from a Gazan doctor already used last Wednesday on NBC and twice on ABC (click “expand”):

ENGEL: In one building, we saw this little girl inside of what’s left of her apartment. Rescue workers tell her to stay calm, that they’re nearly done removing debris. Her leg is trapped under concrete. They try to free her without collapsing the pocket she’s in and, finally, she’s saved. Hamas’s backer, Iran, blamed the United States for what’s happening in Gaza.


BARBER: This is the scene inside Gaza’s largest hospital. Overwhelmed with wounded, running out of every essential supply. Doctors tell us many of their patients are children.

AL-SHIFA HOSPITAL DR. GHASSAN ABU-SITTAH: This is a nine-year-old boy huge blast on his back.

BARBER: But at least Al-Shifa Hospital is open. The World Health Organization says six hospitals in Gaza have already shut down due to a lack of fuel. The Ministry of Health in Gaza, an agency of the Hamas-controlled government, says the number of closed hospitals is actually twice that, saying the health system in Gaza is in a state of complete collapse.

ABU-SITTAH: We’re running out of everything from simple dressings to complex burn dressings. We have over 150 patients ventilated in intensive care areas.

BARBER: The hospitals throughout Gaza that are open, struggling to keep up. And in desperate need of fuel. Israel’s military claims Hamas has plenty of fuel and that they could provide it to the overrun hospitals in Gaza. Hamas denies this. “There’s no room for additional patients,” the health minister says. “We are now using hospital hallways and staircases to treat the injured.” Humanitarian aid is coming in. But not fast enough, given the demand. At Gaza’s main morgue, even the shrouds used to cover the dead are running out.

Hours earlier on Today, Engel similarly shared the scene from another building collapse and that “[t]he health system run by Hamas is in a state of collapse just as casualties are flooding in from hundreds of Israeli air strikes a day.”

Along with co-hosts Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb, they also boasted of the United Nations spending Tuesday ripping into Israel with the Secretary-General demanding a ceasefire (though the three noted it would benefit Hamas).

Shifting to CBS, Evening News anchor Norah O’Donnell followed suit of a sensationalist tale offered up Tuesday by ABC: “Hospitals in Gaza are overwhelmed as fuel supplies dwindle. The U.N. wants to distribute home birthing kits to thousands of pregnant Palestinian women who are inside one hospital.”

Senior foreign correspondent Holly Williams didn’t even use the “health ministry” qualifier to discuss the alleged deaths in Gaza and instead relayed that “Hamas officials say the death toll in the Gaza Strip is now over 6,000.” She seemed to almost dismiss Biden’s deep (and correct) skepticism, arguing that “what is true is that the people of Gaza appear to be on the brink of a catastrophe.”

As we’d see on ABC, CBS’s Williams shared the tragic news of al-Jazeera’s Gaza bureau chief allegedly losing his family in a strike as a jumping off point to the rest of the piece that included an ER doctor whom ABC would also tout.

WILLIAMS: “Do they seek revenge by killing our kids,” cried Wael Dahdouh today, a journalist for the al-Jazeera television network. His wife, son, daughter, and grandson were all killed. A third of the hospitals in the Gaza Strip have stopped functioning, according to the United Nations, either because they are damaged or because of a lack of fuel to power their generators. At Al-Nasser hospital in Khan Yunis, they’re still open, still saving lives when they can. Many of the injured are very young. “My sister was bleeding,” cries this little girl. “My mother was crushed by rocks.”

GHANDIL: The whole system are going to collapse soon.

WILLIAMS: CBS News interviewed Dr. Mohammed Ghandil, the head of E.R., who said the doctors have no water to wash their hands, and some patients are dying because of shortages.

GHANDIL: The hospital have nothing to offer them, so it’s cannot be described by words. It’s hell.

WILLIAMS: At al-Shifa hospital, doctors are also warning of fuel shortage. With no electricity, they say, many of their tiny patients would die. More than 5,000 pregnant women in Gaza are expected to give with hospitals overwhelmed, the U.N. wants to distribute home birthing kits, containing soap, a plastic sheet, and scissors for cutting the umbilical cord.

On CBS Mornings, Williams treated Hamas’s faux statistics as real and ran with the U.N.’s smearing of Israel that Hamas’s terror attack “cannot justify” Israel’s response and “collective punishment of the Palestinian people” (even though Hamas uses its own people as human shields).

On both shows, Williams passed along Israel pointing out Hamas has plenty of fuel they could share with hospitals, but she remained skeptical.

ABC’s World News Tonight did its part to try and shift public opinion against Israel, but at least had the courtesy to show part of an exchange with an IDF spokesman (click “expand”):

DAVID MUIR: In the meantime, Israel’s air assault pounding Gaza, the healthcare system collapsing. Our team inside Gaza tonight where a third of all Gaza hospitals are closed. Just eight trucks of aid getting through the border from Egypt. Now, before the war, at least 400 trucks would travel through a day in with aid. And what about the hundreds of American citizens still inside Gaza? ABC’s Matt Gutman tonight from Tel Aviv.

MATT GUTMAN: Tonight, Israel, amid significant pressure from the U.S., deciding to hold off on that ground invasion for now, urgently pushing to free more hostages as Israel’s aerial bombardment rocked Gaza for the 19th consecutive day. Gaza’s healthcare system collapsing. 12 of the 35 hospitals no longer functioning. Officials claiming more facilities are only hours away from running out of fuel for generators. Medicine also in short supply. Reports of surgeries being performed with no anesthesia. Doctors like Mohammed Ghandil unable to keep up with the crush of patients.

GHANDIL: The hospital door is open, but the health care is not provided. If the fuel is zero, simply the doctors and the nurses will go home and the hospital will turn to a big morgue.

GUTMAN: And the wounded keep coming. Our team on the ground in Gaza, filming medics rushing the injured, including babies, to the emergency room. Al-Jazeera’s bureau chief Wael Dahdouh here sobbing over the bodies of his wife, daughter, and son, all killed in a strike in central Gaza where Israel has told civilians to flee. Today, for the fourth day in a row, a convoy of aid making it into Gaza, but just eight trucks. Before the war, more than 400 trucks arrived daily. [TO LERNER] Is still Israel to still prohibiting fuel from coming in and how long will that last?

PETER LERNER: Hamas has over a million litres of fuel in their stockpiles in Gaza. They’re actually not far away from Rafah, their tanks full of fuel. All they need to do is give it to the hospitals.

GUTMAN: The Hamas-run health ministry claiming 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the past 48 hours alone, the deadliest days of this war for the Palestinians. President Biden has repeatedly talked about the civilian toll, but today, he questioned the source of Hamas’s numbers and reiterated America’s support of Israel.

Rewind to Good Morning America and chief foreign correspondent Ian Pannell had more of the same, fretting that “[e]very day, people dig through the rubble searching for survivors, taking those they find to hospitals that are way beyond capacity” and the “Hamas health ministry saying Tuesday was the deadliest day of the war so far, with more than 700 people killed.”

“Local authorities say nearly 6,000 have been killed in Gaza, more than 2,000 children,” he added, again taking the claims of terrorists as fact.

To see the relevant transcripts from October 25, click here (for ABC’s Good Morning America), here (for ABC’s World News Tonight), here (for CBS Mornings), here (for the CBS Evening News), here (for NBC’s Today), and here (for NBC Nightly News).