FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Mike Lawler, R-N.Y., is asking The Associated Press and Reuters to answer questions about their journalists’ knowledge of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack after Israel accused the outlets of having a forewarning of the terrorist strike that killed over 1,200 people.
Lawler, along with a bipartisan group of lawmakers, is penning letters to the news outlets demanding answers about any possible knowledge they may have had prior to the Hamas attack, which the outlets previously denied.
‘That these journalists would knowingly not share this information, and in the process save thousands of Israeli and Gazan lives, is simply beyond the pale,’ said Lawler.
After a report from Honest Reporting raised ethical questions about why some AP and Reuters journalists were at the site of attack shortly after the atrocities occurred, the Israeli government’s press office director, Nitzan Chen, accused the outlets of being ‘alongside Hamas terrorists, documenting the murder of Israeli civilians, lynching of soldier and kidnappings to Gaza,’ according to a letter obtained by Politico.
Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul said that if the allegations are true, and the journalists ‘had prior knowledge of this deadly attack, yet said nothing,’ it is ‘morally repugnant’ and needs to be ‘thoroughly investigated.’
‘It’s not enough to just verify the authenticity of images — these outlets have a moral obligation to ensure they aren’t being used as pawns to spread Hamas propaganda,’ said McCaul.
However, The Associated Press and Reuters are denying any involvement.
The Associated Press said ‘the first pictures AP received from any freelancer show they were taken more than an hour after the attacks began. No AP staff were at the border at the time of the attacks, nor did any AP staffer cross the border at any time.’
Reuters also asserted that their staffers were ‘not on the ground at the locations referred to in the Honest Reporting article.’
‘Reuters categorically denies that it had prior knowledge of the attack or that we embedded journalists with Hamas on Oct. 7,’ the outlet said.
Nonetheless, Lawler wants the news organizations to ‘come clean’ so that the lawmakers can ‘get to the bottom’ of the events that occurred in the early hours prior to the terrorist attack.
‘These companies must come clean about any involvement or advance notice their contractors or employees may have had of the October 7th massacres,’ said Lawler. ‘It should not be hard for both news outlets to provide answers, and we must get to the bottom of this. We demand the truth.’
McCaul added that the outlets should ‘ensure their reporting is independent and impartial.’
The AP pointed to its previous response to the allegations when reached Wednesday by Fox News.
Fox News has reached out to Reuters for comment.