WASHINGTON — Former Associated Press reporter Matti Friedman accused the journalism outfit of hiring biased reporters, which the Associated Press denied.
The Washington Free Beacon reported that Friedman said their Jerusalem bureau staff have a “distaste for Israel” and focused stories by avoiding quotes and interviews of pro-Israeli sources in their pieces.
Friedman worked for the AP from 2006 to 2011.
The Free Beacon said the following about the back-and-forth spat between Friedman and the AP:
“Friedman … claims that these reporters choose and write stories about Israel based on “a belief that to some extent the Jews of Israel are a symbol of the world’s ills.”
The article, published Sunday in the Atlantic, follows on an August article by Friedman making similar claims about deep-rooted anti-Israel biases at the AP and other major news outlets.
This prejudice, Friedman wrote, even impacts editorial decisions about who to talk to. In the AP’s case, “explicit orders” were given to reporters around 2008 “to never quote” the pro-Israel research organization NGO Monitor, or its founder, Gerald Steinberg.
“In my time as an AP writer moving through the local conflict, with its myriad lunatics, bigots, and killers, the only person I ever saw subjected to an interview ban was this professor,” Friedman wrote.
The AP on Monday vehemently denied these charges when approached by the Washington Free Beacon and claimed that Friedman has been promulgating “distortions, half-truths, and inaccuracies” about the news outlet.”