Editors' Pick: National Review Isolates WashPost's Awful Record on Israel-Hamas War

January 22nd, 2024 3:32 PM

Zach Kessel and Ari Blaff offered a big write-up at National Review titled “How the Washington Post Abandoned Basic Journalistic Standards Covering the Israel–Hamas War.”

Some of it recounts the general tendency to rely on Hamas: “A review by NR of the Post’s coverage since 10/7 revealed no fewer than 148 individual articles that cite the ministry’s casualty statistics. Some of the articles refer to the Gaza Health Ministry as ‘Hamas-run’ while others lack any modifier that would inform a naïve reader who might view the Gaza Health Ministry as a neutral agency.”

But Kessel and Blaff muster several disturbing episodes of misinformation, such as the alleged al-Ahli hospital bombing, which was not an Israeli bombing and did not destroy the hospital. There were more inflammatory articles:

A month after the hospital-blast misstep, the paper ran a front-page story accusing Israel of systematically separating Palestinian mothers from their prematurely born babies and forcing the women to return to war-torn Gaza while their children remained in Israel and the West Bank with medical professionals.

The bombshell report was written by a team of three reporters led by Louisa Loveluck, the Post’s bureau chief in Baghdad and co-author of the October 17 al-Ahli hospital report.

Weeks after the report about the babies was published and the firestorm of condemnation began to dissipate, the Post finally issued a mea culpa revealing a stunning oversight: Loveluck and her team never bothered to ask Israeli government officials for comment. “The Post neglected to seek comment from Israeli officials for this article, an omission that fell short of The Post’s standards for fairness,” an editor’s note affixed to the article reads….

Speaking of groups being presented as neutral arbiters when they're absolutely not, Kessel and Braff turn to "Human Rights Watch," and its obsessively anti-Israel focus. Here again was Louisa Loveluck writing an article requiring a correction: 

“HRW’s initial reactions to the Hamas attacks failed to condemn outright the murder, torture, and kidnapping of Israeli men, women, and children,” former employee Danielle Haas wrote in a public letter sent to 600 staffers in late November after she resigned....

Shortly after 10/7, Loveluck co-authored another piece arguing that the early stage of Israel’s military campaign was historically unprecedented in its destructiveness. In the report, she cited Marc Garlasco, who was identified as “a military adviser at the Dutch organization PAX for Peace,” and a former war-crimes investigator. Garlasco cited his experience during the Libyan Civil War and drew on the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan to buttress the Post’s claim that Israel’s response was disproportionate.

Soon after the article was published, the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (CAMERA) debunked Garlasco’s claim that “the highest number of bombs and other munitions dropped in one year during the war in Afghanistan was just over 7,423.” As CAMERA noted in its write-up, that number represents the highest number of explosives employed in Afghanistan in a single year since 2006, and does not account for the number of explosives dropped from 2001 to 2006. In fact, according to the U.S. Air Force, 17,500 bombs were dropped during the first 76 days of bombing in Afghanistan. The Post has since affixed a correction to its article, noting that the claim that the number of bombs is higher than was dropped in any single year during the war in Afghanistan is false.

Loveluck’s article also does not reveal that Garlasco was suspended by HRW in 2009 for being a Nazi memorabilia enthusiast.

They also note Loveluck has written for al-Jazeera and several other Post staffers have al-Jazeera backgrounds. Read the whole thing.