At their joint press conference last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu denounced the Palestinian Authority for honoring terrorists and President Trump spoke about the PA teaching anti-Israel hate in its schools.
But you wouldn’t know any of that from reading America’s leading daily newspapers. Editor after editor simply blacked it out.
Here’s what Netanyahu said, according to the official transcript of the press conference:
“They name public squares in honor of mass murderers who murdered Israelis, and I have to say also murdered Americans. They fund – they pay monthly salaries to the families of murderers, like the family of the terrorist who killed Taylor Force, a wonderful young American, a West Point graduate, who was stabbed to death while visiting Israel.”
And here’s what Trump said:
“I think the Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate that they’re taught from a very young age. They’re taught tremendous hate. I’ve seen what they’re taught. And you can talk about flexibility there too, but it starts at a very young age and it starts in the school room.”
That was a pretty significant development. The prime minister of Israel called out Palestinian leaders for rewarding killers of Americans. The president of the United States demanded that the PA drastically change its school system. That’s big news.
Unless you’re the Associated Press or the Washington Post.
AP correspondent Vivian Salaam wrote a 23-paragraph story about the Trump-Netanyahu press conference. She didn’t say a word about the PA honoring terrorists and teaching hate.
Salaam’s article carried this tag at the end: “Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Washington, Josef Federman in Jerusalem and Karin Laub in Ramallah, West Bank, contributed to this report.”
So a total of four AP reporters worked on this one article, yet none of them thought it pertinent to include what Trump and Netanyahu said about payments to terrorists and educating children to hate.
Over at USA Today, Gregory Korte and David Jackson coauthored a 29-paragraph story about what Trump and Netanyahu said. But they didn’t mention what the two leaders said about the Palestinian incitement and the hate-education.
But that was peanuts compared to the Washington Post. Reporters Anne Gearan and Ruth Eglash teamed up to write a gigantic, 46-paragraph article about the Trump-Netanyahu press conference. Yet they, too, saw no reason to talk about the PA’s schools or glorification of terrorism.
The New York Times was only slightly better. Peter Baker and Mark Landler wrote a 30-paragraph dispatch about the press conference. Like the Associated Press and others, the Times omitted any mention of what President Trump said about Palestinian schools.
The Times correspondents did, however, include a half-sentence acknowledging that Netanyahu referred to “the building of statues to those who carry out terrorist attacks and the payment of salaries to their families.”
I guess that was better than nothing, although it wasn’t much better. Half a sentence in a 30-paragraph article is really unacceptable.
Basic journalistic principles require reporters covering a press conference to fully report what the speakers at the press conference said. Especially when the speakers are the president of the United States and the prime minister of Israel.
So how can we explain why major news services and daily newspapers blatantly ignored significant comments those leaders made?
It’s not complicated. Reporting what Trump and Netanyahu said would call attention to facts that most newspaper editors don’t want to acknowledge – that the Palestinian Authority honors and pays terrorists, and raises Palestinian children to be future terrorists.
Admitting those facts undermines the goal of creating a Palestinian state. That’s why so many in the news media decided that some of the most important statements made by the president and the prime minister at their press conference were unfit to print. Some facts are just too inconvenient.