The political game being played in the media when it comes to the conflict between Israel and Hamas has led to some rather odd interactions lately. Last week, the Pakistani Foreign Minister made anti-Semitic claims on CNN about Jews controlling the media and having “deep pockets.” We’ve also seen plenty of apologetics from people like Joy Reid regarding the situation.
There’s this line that the media are attempting to toe where they don’t outright condemn Israel for acting in self-defense (well, unless you are watching MSNBC’s primetime lineup or reading WaPo) but also leave room to excuse Hamas’ actions under the guise of humanitarian concerns.
Some of that tension was apparent in a completely bizarre interview on CNN with the son of the founder of Hamas. The segment ended abruptly when his mic was cut off even was he was pleading for help in reaching his mother.
Keep in mind that Mosab Hassan Yousef fled Hamas and sees them for the evil they are despite his father being their founder. Even still, this CNN anchor decides the very first question she’s going to ask is if Gaza can be rebuilt without coordination from Hamas. That seems a little insensitive, and it’s certainly the type of leading, pro-Palestinian question we’ve come to expect from the mainstream media. Of course, it’s possible to rebuild Gaza without Hamas. In fact, if Hamas were to be shunned and dethroned today, Gaza would end up in far better shape a year from now.
Good for Mosab for eschewing the question and actually telling his story and about the horrors of what Hamas has done because that’s what people really want to know. They don’t care about the geopolitics of working with terrorists to get the power turned back on. The entire time, the anchor is grimacing as he speaks, which is just an odd look on camera.
Another thing mentioned in the interview that really serves as a rebuke of CNN and the media is that Mosab says that he’s done thousands of interviews and it’s not changing anything. He’s noting the pointlessness of what the media typically obsess over when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The anchor tries to redirect, but he keeps going.
It’s at the end that things just get weird, though. As Mosab is speaking, they cut his mic and the anchor shares her sympathies before ending the interview. The entire time, you can see him still talking on the split screen. I don’t know if they were out of time or if they didn’t like the direction he was going (which was decidedly anti-Hamas), but it all came across as bizarre. Of all the interviews to cut off, why this one? Does CNN not want certain things said on air that could be construed as too pro-Israel? Given the people they have on their panels to discuss the issues typically, you’d be forgiven for believing that.
There are a lot of questions to be answered here.