“Psychological treatises will one day be written on the moral degeneracy which has taken hold of so many Western minds, which credulously take the word of Hamas, a terrorist organisation, as true whilst regarding anything said by Israel, a democratic nation state, as by definition false” wrote The JC’s Stephen Pollard in an op-ed about the atrocious British media coverage of the war.
Pollard was speaking broadly, but focused his fury on the BBC and Sky News International Affairs Editor, Dominic Waghorn, who last week wrote the following on X:
Hamas leader Yehya Sinwar met with the Israeli hostages a day after they were taken in tunnels under Gaza and told them they would not be harmed and would be returned as part of a hostage deal. Undermines the Israeli Hamas = ISIS storyline.
— Dominic Waghorn (@DominicWaghorn) November 28, 2023
Though we’ve since learned even more details about the horrific conditions for the Israeli hostages since that post, at the time of the post it was already known that the ‘reasonable’ conditions involved beatings, starvation, threats of murder and myriad other inhumanities. Further, as we commented on X, Sinwar – the leader of a genocidal terror group – obviously told the hostages he wouldn’t harm them not out of humanitarianism, but because he obviously had an interest in their safety: he wanted Palestinian terrorists released from prison, and knew that would only happen if the hostages weren’t killed.
It’s amazing that this point even needs to be made.
Waghorn isn’t by any stretch an outlier at Sky News when it comes to peddling astonishingly biased and daft takes on the war.
As our colleague Karen Bekker explained, Sky News presenter Anna Botting abandoned any pretense of objectivity or even of journalistic curiosity in her hostile interview with Israeli spokesperson Mark Regev in the aftermath of the Al-Ahli hospital explosion in Gaza.
— CAMERAorg (@CAMERAorg) October 18, 2023
Not only did Regev outperform the Sky presenter during the interview, remaining confident with a superb command of the facts during Botting’s hostile questioning, but it was of course later proven that he was correct in his assertion that the IDF wasn’t to blame for the blast, which was in fact caused by an errant Palestinian Islamic Jihad missile.
Another example of Sky News’s egregious bias and carelessness with accuracy relates to a repost by reporter Mark Stone of an X post by another journalist falsely claiming that ‘all ICU patients’ died at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza in the aftermath of an IDF raid. The story was so blatantly false that even the PIJ affiliated Quds backtracked and deleted their X post which initially made that same claim. There’s also a community note below the original post explaining that the information isn’t accurate.
We recently checked Stone’s X feed, and Stone still hasn’t unposted it.
Another Sky journalist, Alex Crawford, still hasn’t deleted a post which – as the community note makes clear – falsely claims that some of the released Palestinian prisoners, in the exchange for Israeli hostages, were imprisoned merely for raising a Palestinian flag.
First group of #Palestinian prisoners – women and children – will also be released from #Israeli jail on Friday. Many have been incarcerated without charge or jailed for raising Palestinian flag or throwing stones at Israeli soldiers
— Alex Crawford (@AlexCrawfordSky) November 23, 2023
Here’s the same journalist posting a thread angrily complaining about journalists like herself not being allowed into Gaza, but – again, despite not stepping foot in the territory – still knowing that the IDF – and, evidently, not Hamas – is committing war crimes.
It is absolutely farcical to try to peddle the view that foreign journalists are not entering Gaza because it’s ‘dangerous’. International journalists have been delib blocked from entering #Gaza by primarily #Israel who doesnt want them seeing the war crimes 🧵
— Alex Crawford (@AlexCrawfordSky) December 5, 2023
Additionally, as we noted in a post last week, presenter Kay Burley asked Israeli spokesperson Eylon Levy if the asymmetrical exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners – which came out to three prisoners for every one hostage – showed that Israelis don’t value Palestinian lives as much as Israeli lives.
The first question that left me speechless (but only for a second): pic.twitter.com/P4Bh0SKtl9
— Eylon Levy (@EylonALevy) November 23, 2023
As Levy’s response aptly indicated, it would be hard to find a supposition more delusional in any mainstream outlet – arguing that an asymmetrical prisoner swap demonstrates racism on behalf of the party forced to agree to release a greater number of enemy prisoners. Israeli leaders of course would have preferred to release only one Palestinian prisoner in exchange for each Israeli hostage – or, ideally, no prisoners at all. It was Hamas who demanded the lopsided exchange.
The most recent example is a stand-alone short video clip published by Sky posed on their website, YouTube and on X.
"This is a war on children."
A UNICEF spokesman speaks from a hospital in Gaza, which he says is "at 200% capacity".
— Sky News (@SkyNews) December 1, 2023
As you can see, there’s no narration by anyone from Sky. The one minute diatribe by UNICEF spokesperson James Elder characterising Israel’s war against Hamas as a ‘war on children’ is not only unchallenged, but his accusation against Israel of mass child murder – redolent of the antisemitic blood libel – is highlighted in Sky’s post.
His ‘proof’ that Israel is engaging in a ‘war on children’? A bomb allegedly exploded fifty meters from a hospital where children are staying. He doesn’t seem to know if it was a Hamas or IDF bomb which caused the explosion.
But, even if it’s the latter, that could naturally mean that Hamas was illegally engaging in military operations at or close to the hospital. However, even leaving that issue aside, and accepting at face value his suggestion that it was an Israeli bomb that caused the explosion fifty meters from the hospital, Elder doesn’t claim that the hospital wasn’t damaged, or that any children were injured. How that scenario becomes ‘a war on Palestinian children’ is anyone’s guess.
But facts be damned when you have a juicy antisemitic soundbite to publish.