In a recent development, Representative Mike Lawler, a Republican from New York, is calling for The Associated Press and Reuters to provide clarity on their alleged prior knowledge of the October 7 Hamas attack. The attack, which resulted in over 1,200 casualties, has been a point of contention, with Israel accusing the news outlets of having advance warning.
Lawler, supported by a bipartisan group of legislators, is drafting letters to these news organizations, demanding answers regarding their potential foreknowledge of the attack. These inquiries follow accusations against the journalists for not sharing information that could have potentially saved lives in Israel and Gaza.
The controversy was sparked by a report from Honest Reporting, which raised ethical concerns about the presence of AP and Reuters journalists at the attack site soon after the incident. Nitzan Chen, director of the Israeli government’s press office, alleged that these journalists were documenting the event alongside Hamas terrorists, as per a letter sourced by Politico.
Michael McCaul, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, stated that if the journalists had prior knowledge of the attack and chose to remain silent, it would be morally reprehensible and warrant a thorough investigation. McCaul emphasized the responsibility of these news outlets to avoid being tools for spreading Hamas propaganda.
In response, both The Associated Press and Reuters have categorically denied any foreknowledge or involvement in the events of October 7. The Associated Press clarified that their first images from the scene were taken over an hour after the attacks started, and no staff members were present at the border during the attacks. Similarly, Reuters denied having staff on the ground at the mentioned locations and any prior knowledge of the attack.
Despite these denials, Lawler insists that the news organizations must be transparent about any involvement or advance notice their personnel may have had regarding the October 7 attacks. He stressed the importance of uncovering the truth behind these events. McCaul added that it is crucial for these outlets to maintain independence and impartiality in their reporting.
The Associated Press referred to its previous response when Fox News reached out for comments regarding these allegations.