Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird led a group of 15 Republican AGs who sent a joint letter warning officials at the New York Times, Associated Press, CNN, and Reuters that federal law bars providing “material support” to terrorist organizations, and notes that it is illegal under their states’ laws as well. The letter puts the four news organizations “on notice.”
In the letter, Bird and the other 14 Republican state attorneys general suggest the four news outlets may have provided “material support to terrorists” by purchasing photographs from Gaza-based journalists with known ties to Hamas.
Big news media funding friends of terrorist orgs like Hamas is illegal & shameful.
I led a coalition of 14 states in demanding that media outlets do their job and ensure they’re not sending paychecks to terrorist sympathizers or terrorists.https://t.co/Rr7ei5G84N
— Iowa AG Brenna Bird (@AGIowa) December 4, 2023
On November 9, we cited the shocking report of HonestReporting, an NGO that “monitors the media for bias against Israel,” proving that major media outlets collaborated with the photojournalists the Hamas death squads brought with them to cover the October 7 massacre.
In its November 8 report, “Photographers Without Borders: AP & Reuters Pictures of Hamas Atrocities Raise Ethical Questions,” HonestReporting claims that “On October 7, Hamas terrorists were not the only ones who documented the war crimes they had committed during their deadly rampage across southern Israel. Some of their atrocities were captured by Gaza-based photojournalists working for the Associated Press and Reuters news agencies whose early morning presence at the breached border area raises serious ethical questions.
The images from the massacre that were disseminated by AP and CNN were credited to Hassan Eslaiah, Yousef Masoud, Ali Mahmud, and Hatem Ali, all of them freelancers living in Gaza (see our extensive coverage in “HonestReporting: Major Media Employed Gaza Photojournalists Embedded in Hamas Death Squads”).
“Reporting credibly alleges that some of the individuals that your outlets hire have deep and troubling ties to Hamas—and may have participated in the October 7 attack. In the wake of those alarming reports, some of you have cut ties with these so-called journalists whose connections to terror groups have become too obvious to hide. Good. But one factor in determining whether an organization has provided material support for terrorism is that it be ‘knowing,’” the AGs’ letter says.
“You should ensure that you are taking all necessary steps to prevent your organizations from contracting with members of terror organizations,” the letter stresses. “We urge you in the strongest terms to take care that your hiring practices conform to the laws forbidding material support for terror organizations.”