NYT Ignores Jihadist Presence in Bombed Gaza Media Building, Obfuscates Effectiveness of Israel's Iron Dome Missile Defense

November 19th, 2012 11:06 PM

Despite evidence reported elsewhere, a Monday story in the New York Times by Fares Akram, Jodi Rudoren and Alan Cowell described the bombing of "two buildings housing local broadcasters and production companies used by foreign outlets" as a possible example of Israel "targeting journalists" -- while ignoring one "little" thing. As the Washington Free Beacon noted (HT Instapundit), "Four senior Islamic Jihad terrorists were using the media building as a hideout. They were killed in the Israeli strike." Additionally, the Times reporters downplayed the high-percentage effectiveness of Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system in blowing up Hamas rockets before they could cause any damage.

What follows are the two "don't let the facts get in the way of a good story" paragraphs from the Times, as well as those relating to Iron Dome's results thus far:

On Sunday, Israeli forces attacked two buildings housing local broadcasters and production companies used by foreign outlets. Israeli officials denied targeting journalists, but on Monday Israeli forces again blasted the Al Sharouk block, a multiuse building where many local broadcasters, as well as Sky News of Britain and the channel Al Arabiya, had offices.

That attack, which struck a computer shop on the third floor, sparked a blaze that sent plumes of dark smoke creeping up the sides of the building. Video footage showed clouds of smoke billowing.

The Free Beacon documented who knew better and admitted as much:

Both Islamic Jihad and the IDF noted the presence of terrorists in the building, and that they were eliminated in the strike.

(From an Associated Press tweet) "BREAKING: Gaza group Islamic Jihad says Israeli strike on media center killed one of its top militant leaders."

The fact that those directly involved and even the Associated Press acknowledged the truth while the Times wouldn't generated this response from Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds: "The New York Times is actually less reliable than the interested parties." Indeed.

Also unreliable is the ability of the Times reporters involved to communicate basic math in regards to Iron Dome's effectiveness:

Israel says its onslaught is designed to stop Hamas from launching the rockets, but, after an apparent lull overnight, more missiles hurtled toward targets in Israel, some of them intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system. Of five rockets fired on Monday at the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, four were intercepted but one smashed through the concrete roof at the entrance to an empty school. There were no reports of casualties. Other rockets rained on areas along the border with Gaza.

Later a second salvo struck Ashkelon. Several rockets were intercepted, but one crashed down onto a house, causing damage but no casualties.

Israeli officials said 135 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel on Monday, of which 42 were intercepted by Iron Dome, Most of the others landed in open areas.

On Sunday, a new volley of Palestinian rockets totaled nearly 100 by nightfall, including two that soared toward Tel Aviv but were knocked out of the sky by Israeli defenses.

Let's see. In Paragraph 1 above, Iron Dome went 4-for-5. Paragraph 2 is (deliberately?) less clear, but Iron Dome again had only one miss. Paragraph 4 appears to tell us that Iron Dome went 2-for-2 against rockets that had a chance of hitting something. Paragraph 3 is interesting, because "most" is a vague term which appears to mean "all but a very few," and if so should have been expressed as such.

In other words, Iron Dome, though tragically not perfect, is working remarkably well, despite the attempts by the Times reporters to obfuscate. This must be more than a little troubling to those who have made it their mission to prevent the free world from building missile-defense systems by arguing that they supposedly won't ever really work. Oh, but they do.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.