Accuracy in Media

As Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner presided over the opening of the new American embassy in Jerusalem, Hamas moved thousands of people to the border of Israel to protest, fire on Israeli troops and provoke responses for the consumption of world media organizations.

Joy Reid of MSNBC exemplified the mood on the left. Linking a story about the U.S. blocking a United Nations probe into the shootings on the Gaza border, Reid tweeted: “The reporter who asked [deputy press secretary] Raj Shah yesterday at the press briefing whether the position of the Trump administration regarding the IDF vs Palestinian civilians is ‘fire at will’ now has his answer.”

Mainstream media outlets published several pro-Palestinian headlines.

“Israel Kills Dozens at Gaza Border as U.S. Embassy Opens in Jerusalem,” the New York Times’ lead story was headlined. “Palestinians mourn dead in Gaza as new protests begin,” read the CNN headline. “With 60 killed in Gaza, UN Rights Commissioner Criticizes Israel,” wrote National Public Radio.

“Gaza bloodshed: Baby among dozens buried,” CNN reported.

On MSNBC, Katy Tur mistook fireworks in Jerusalem for shelling on the Gaza Strip. She was in the studio interviewing two on-the-ground reporters – Matt Bradley in Jerusalem and Ayman Mohyeldin nearer to Gaza.

“You’ve covered this story for a long time … you’ve seen it firsthand. React to Raj Shah saying just now that this is all Hamas’ fault and just a gruesome propaganda attempt.”

She then interrupted herself and says, “And what are we hearing in the background. Is that … Matt Bradley … is that shelling?”

“No, Katy. You’re actually hearing that from here in Jerusalem, Bradley said. “It’s actually fireworks going off behind me toward the Old City. A real indication of the festive atmosphere that Israel has been experiencing in the last 24 hours – a very stark contrast to the images and realities we’re seeing in Gaza unfold.

“It gives you a sense of really how wide the gap is between what Israel is going through over the last 48 hours and what Palestinians are.”

It was a level of violence not seen since the last time Hamas tried to war with Israel back in 2014, the Washington Post reported.

The Post quoted a UN human rights spokesperson as saying “that while Israel has a right to defend itself, lethal force should be a last resort and was not justified against people just approaching the fence.”

Slate blamed the attacks on President Trump, saying this was yet another instance of his “unwillingness to ponder the consequences of his actions in countries that he doesn’t understand.”

The “consequences” of Trump’s move to find a way to end the seven-year suspension of a Chinese telecommunications firm from doing business with U.S. firms could end up being wide-ranging compromises by the Chinese on allowing American agricultural products to be sold in China.

The “consequences” of Trump’s actions on North Korea, which “threaten” to end a 70-year war and reshape Asian politics forever, is that he is a month out from his summit with Kim Jong Un, and he is not yet definite on all negotiating positions.

As for Israel, “Trump was warned, by his own officials and by various European and Arab allies, that the decision to move the embassy would spark protests and violence. He could have averted, or at least dampened, the bloodshed by pressuring the Israelis to make some concessions to the Palestinians in advance of the embassy’s opening (freezing settlements, opening up some checkpoints, holding talks, even if just for show). But Trump demanded nothing.”

This was bad because the Europeans and others – who have not moved the problem any closer to solution – “have held out recognition of Jerusalem as the final step of an Israeli-Palestinian peace process.”

Trump not doing things in the order the EU prescribes “is a direct result of … his refusal to understand the consequences of his actions in other parts of the world.”

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