Israel to ‘Vet’ US Corporate Media Embedded in Gaza

In a TV segment, CNN’s Fareed Zakaria explained the submissive arrangements that his outlet and others are making with the Israeli military.

IDF forces in the Gaza Strip on Nov. 1. (IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0)

By Brett Wilkins
Common Dreams

U.S. corporate media outlets have granted Israeli military commanders pre-publication review rights for “all materials and footage” recorded by their correspondents embedded with the Israel Defense Forces during the invasion of Gaza, a precondition condemned by press freedom advocates. 

“Journalists embedded with the IDF in Gaza operate under the observation of Israeli commanders in the field, and are not permitted to move unaccompanied within the Gaza Strip,” Fareed Zakaria, host of CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” explained in a segment on Sunday.

“As a condition to enter Gaza under IDF escort, outlets have to submit all materials and footage to the Israeli military for review prior to publication,” he added. “CNN has agreed to these terms in order to provide a limited window into Israel’s operations in Gaza.”

[Related: What We’re Not Hearing About Oct 7]

In a clip featuring correspondent Raf Sanchez — who is embedded with an IDF unit tasked with finding and destroying Hamas tunnels in Gaza — NBC News also acknowledged that it has “agreed to share raw footage” as “an operational security requirement.”

Responding to Zakaria’s admission, U.S. journalist Dan Cohen asserted that “CNN is explicitly acting as a propaganda mouthpiece for the genocidal Zionist regime.”

U.S. photojournalist Zach D. Roberts said on social media that “what CNN is doing here is creating a b-roll for the IDF. It’s nothing resembling news and the CNN employees that participated in it aren’t anything resembling journalists.”

Omar Suleiman, founder and president of the Texas-based Yaqeen Institute for Islamic Research, said Sunday on social media that “Israel is killing the journalists that expose their crimes, then bribing the journalists that cover for them.”

Israel does not allow foreign journalists into Gaza unless they’re embedded with IDF units under the aforementioned preconditions, placing almost all of the responsibility — and danger — of reporting on Palestinian correspondents. 

As Common Dreams reported Friday, at least 31 Palestinian journalists have been killed in Gaza since Israel began bombarding the densely populated strip in response to the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attacks that left more than 1,400 Israelis and others dead in southern Israel, with another 240 or so people taken hostage. 

One Lebanese journalist was also killed in Gaza, while four Israeli media professionals were slain during the Hamas attacks.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, the past month has been the deadliest four-week period for media professionals since the U.S.-based group started keeping records in 1992. CPJ has also documented at least eight injuries, three missing people, eight arrests and “multiple assaults, threats, cyberattacks, censorship, and killings of family members.”

Suleiman said that the world can “expect more coverage humanizing IDF soldiers while they murder thousands of innocent Palestinian civilians in cold blood.”

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said Monday that Israeli forces have killed at least 10,022 people in Gaza, including 2,550 women and more than 4,100 children, while wounding over 25,000 others. 

During the eight-year U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, embedded journalists were used by American officials in an attempt to control the war’s public narrative. Research has shown that embedding “channeled reporters toward producing war coverage from the soldier’s point of view,” while minimizing civilian casualties and other negative consequences.

U.S. and other Western mainstream media have long been accused of one-sided coverage in favor of Israel. During the current war, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR) and other media monitors have noted how numerous outlets have broadcast unverified Israeli and U.S. claims of babies beheaded by Hamas, of Gaza-based militants operating from beneath hospitals, of Hamas using human shields, and other unsubstantiated reports.

Lara Witt and Tina Vásquez of Prism Reports recently wrote that the U.S. media “is evading its responsibility to acknowledge the Gaza genocide.”

“The American media is failing,” they wrote. “Through journalistic sleight of hand — including the use of passive language, ever-shifting headlines, bothsidesism, and the myth of objectivity — reporters across the U.S. are fueling the genocide their newsrooms are refusing to acknowledge is taking place,” Witt and Vásquez added.

Brett Wilkins is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

This article is from Common Dreams.

Views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

11 comments for “Israel to ‘Vet’ US Corporate Media Embedded in Gaza

  1. Vera Gottlieb
    November 8, 2023 at 11:21

    ENOUGH ALREADY! of israel, of the US, of the UK and all other war mongers.

  2. Arch Stanton
    November 8, 2023 at 04:44

    The media is now owned by a small handful of corporate owners compared to the plurality that existed 40-50yrs ago.

    This has clearly resulted in less objectionable reporting when it comes to the behaviour of Israel and the west. Indeed, any journalist who dares to be critical of Israel’s zionist policy of belligerence to Palestinians is cancelled and fired, heck, they wont even get past the editorial desk for approval.

    There are sinister and dark forces at play in the world right now, which quite unbelievably, is allowing a real-time genocide to played out on our TVs and phones for the first time ever.

    What’s happening right now will, in the future, be studied and debated for generations, provided that these sinister dark forces don’t bring about an end of days apocalypse first.

  3. Dan A. Goldstein
    November 7, 2023 at 22:05

    Oh, and if you want to comment on say, BBC’s, Channel 4’s, CNN’s, and other western media’s horribly biased coverage, don’t bother doing so via You Tube. You Tube will selectively censor you, per their bullshit “community standards.” If you do want to comment at all on such pages – that is, on pages whose comments aren’t disabled altogether – you best censor yourself. Don’t say things like, “Israel, stop killing the children!” or, “Israel is an official Apartheid state that is committing mass atrocities against the helpless civilian population in Gaza!” or any number of obvious, awful truths. If you dare to speak the self-evident truth, You Tube will block your access, as I know from personal experience. And while I’m not sure, I surmise the social media overlords are equally censorious, suppressive and discriminatory over at Facebook. It’s enough to make me CONSIDER setting up a Twitter, er, “X” account, a prospect I find rather unappealing.
    Thank god for Al Jazeera and Consortium News… and a very few others.

  4. Curious
    November 7, 2023 at 21:15

    CNN enjoys and markets conflicts and wars. It’s one of the few network news to actually have a ‘War Room’ which in itself is pathetic. I would think the cost of advertising on CNN just went up too, which would mean they are not only complicate in Israeli propaganda but making money off of it was well. Blood lust in its most horrible form.

  5. Arch Stanton
    November 7, 2023 at 20:22

    Since the Reagan & Thatcher era, wealth became concentrated in fewer & fewer hands; so it’s no coincidence that the national & international media plurality of 40-50yrs ago has gone, the big 6 owners (Fox, Time Warner, Disney, Viacom, Sony & Comcast) are all interwoven with each other and exclusively owned by Vanguard & Blackrock. This sinister state of affairs has empowered the Zionists to fulfil their final solution to the Palestinian problem.

    They can now carry out their own holocaust on the Palestinians whilst national & international media looks away.

    How did we get to this juncture?
    Will the truth ever out?

  6. CaseyG
    November 7, 2023 at 18:29

    Cnn and ABC are sending American press people to cover what is happening in Gaza? But, if the IDF is controlling everything, that is not news—-it’ truly is propaganda
    I am wondering too, will the CNN and ABC people who go to war with israel—do the US news agencies offer death insurance and more, so if the Americans killed there don’t leave the families of the Americans stuck with funeral costs— could they even get their family’s news person’s body returned?
    I am sadly wondering if those news people will just be used as canon fodder and show horrific ways that they are killed. Oh families of these potential reporters—-do not let your family member be sacrificed for Israeli news videos.

  7. William H Warrick III
    November 7, 2023 at 15:58

    It was the same for all Reporters during the 911 Wars, they always have to control the Narrative, but Julian Assange didn’t comply so they put him in Jail for Life.

  8. John Manning
    November 7, 2023 at 15:29

    Stop pretending it is the Israelis controlling this. It is the US news agencies doing it.

    Whenever they show the attack in Israel there are women crying in grief at their loss.
    Whenever they show the attacks in Gaza there is never a tear.

  9. susan
    November 7, 2023 at 13:38

    So much for freedom of the press! What a farce!!

  10. Rudy Haugeneder
    November 7, 2023 at 13:29

    That’s Western journalism today, not only in Gaza but anywhere where “Western” interests of any kind are at risk. Sad, very sad. Journalism was once somewhat trusted.

    • WillD
      November 7, 2023 at 21:18

      It isn’t even journalism anymore, it is propaganda, spin, and narrative control – all intended to deceive the public.

      It is the intent that disturbs me the most, the deliberate and malevolent attempts to hide the ghastly truths, conceal the atrocities, war crimes, and genocide, and to make the public believe a never ending series of outright lies.

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