NBC Ignores One of Israeli Teens Killed Was U.S. Citizen But Does Highlight Obama’s ‘Outrage’
On Monday, June 30, it was revealed that the three Israeli teens, one of whom was a dual Israeli-American citizen, that went missing two weeks were found dead, likely the victims of murder from the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
While all three network evening news shows reported on the deaths of the three teenage boys, NBC Nightly News only provided a news brief and completely ignored that one of the boys, Naftaly Frenkel, was in fact a U.S. citizen. Anchor Brian Williams did find time to highlight how “President Obama was among those who expressed outrage over the killings.”
In full reports, Martha Raddatz, ABC’s Chief Global Affairs Correspondent, and CBS’s Holly Williams, both provided extensive coverage of the fact that one of the boys was an American yet didn’t promote President Obama’s comments on the missing boys like NBC did.
Raddatz focused on how “The three boys disappeared from a hitchhiking stop in the West Bank town of Hebron. Among them that dual Israeli-American citizen, 16-year-old Naftaly Frenkel, whose family came to Israel from Brooklyn. The FBI joining the investigation tonight.”
CBS’ Holly Williams went even further and played a clip of Frenkel’s mother begging for her son’s safe return:
The bodies were discovered under a pile of rocks north of the town of Halhul near Hebron in the West Bank. The three teenagers all of them seminary students went missing while hitchhiking from the Jewish settlement of Kfar Etzion . One of them, 16-year old Naftaly Frenkel was a dual U.S. citizen whose mother Rachelli [sic] made a plea for their return.
See relevant transcript below.
ABC's World News with Diane Sawyer
June 30, 2014
DAVID MUIR: Around the world tonight into that troubling headline from Israel in the case of three missing teenagers, one of them a U.S. citizen. Well tonight authorities believe those boys are now dead, found not far from where they disappeared. This evening a blistering salvo from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. ABC's Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz live in our Washington bureau tonight watching this closely. Martha, what's coming here?
MARTHA RADDATZ: David, the grief and outrage over these murders tonight in Israel is extraordinary. The boys' bodies were found under a pile of rocks in an open field. The three boys disappeared from a hitchhiking stop in the West Bank town of Hebron. Among them that dual Israeli-American citizen, 16-year-old Naftaly Frenkel, whose family came to Israel from Brooklyn. The FBI joining the investigation tonight.
The abductions prompted one of Israel's largest search and security operations in more than a decade. The Palestinian militant group Hamas was quickly blamed for the abductions. 400 Palestinians were arrested and at least five were killed. Hamas denies any involvement but tonight Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu saying “they were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals. Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay.” Whatever the Israeli response, these murders have clearly dimmed any hopes for progress on a peace agreement in a country already on edge. David?
CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley
June 30, 2014
SCOTT PELLEY: Three bodies were discovered today in Israel, and appear to be those of three Israeli teenagers kidnapped a little over two weeks ago. They were actually found in the occupied West Bank after a massive search by Israeli forces and Holly Williams has details.
HOLLY WILLIAMS: The bodies were discovered under a pile of rocks north of the town of Halhul near Hebron in the West Bank. The three teenagers all of them seminary students went missing while hitchhiking from the Jewish settlement of Kfar Etzion. One of them, 16-year old Naftaly Frenkel was a dual U.S. citizen whose mother Rachelli [sic] made a plea for their return.
RACHELLI FRENKEL: We love you, we miss you, please be strong, hold on, be strong. We love you, we want to hug you again.
WILLIAMS: The disappearance sparked one of the biggest security crackdowns in a decade as Israeli forces went house-to-house in areas around Hebron, and arrested more than 400. That lead to clashes with Palestinians which left five dead. Israeli officials blame Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip and named two of its members as suspects. Hamas has never claimed responsibility but it did praise the abductions as a heroic act.
PELLEY: And Holly Williams is joining us from Istanbul. Holly, what happens next?
WILLIAMS: Well, Scott, the fear is that this will lead inevitably to more bloodletting. Israel now looks poised to launch a large scale attack on its Gaza Strip. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a meeting of his security cabinet tonight and said Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay. But a spokesman for Hamas warned today that if Israel attacks Gaza, it will open the gates of hell on itself.
NBC Nightly News
June 30, 2014
BRIAN WILLIAMS: Elsewhere in the Middle East today, the bodies of three Israeli teenage boys were found near the West Bank town of Hebron where they were abducted while hitchhiking over two weeks ago, ending an intense search. President Obama was among those who expressed outrage over the killings. The abductions were praised by the militant group, the Palestinian group Hamas. And after the bodies were discovered Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that, quote, “Hamas will pay.”
— Jeffrey Meyer is a News Analyst at the Media Research Center. Follow Jeffrey Meyer on Twitter.