ABC, NBC and CBS on July 7 offered slanted coverage of violence between Israelis and Palestinians. Today co-host Natalie Morales recounted the deaths of seven Hamas members and qualified, "Israel says it carried out air strikes on at least 14 so-called terror sites." [MP3 audio here.] An NBC graphic underlined the network's skepticism, "Air strikes Carried Out On 14 'Terror' Sites."
However, the Today show at least offered context. Reporter Ayman Mohyeldin explained that the air strikes came in "the aftermath of a week of violent clashes triggered by the brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager burned alive in a revenge attack for the killing of three Jewish teens by suspected Palestinian militants." The reporting on ABC's Good Morning America and CBS This Morning, Monday, ignored the original murder of the three Israeli youths.
This Morning co-host Norah O'Donnell told viewers, "Meanwhile six Jewish suspects are in custody for the apparent revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager." Revenge killing for what? She didn't say.
Instead, correspondent Alex Ortiz offered, "After brutal beating and four days in detention, 15-year-old Palestinian-American Tariq Abu Khdeir was released into the arms of his family."
On ABC's Good Morning America, co-host Robin Roberts claimed that the Israeli air strike "comes after an American teen was savagely beaten by Israeli police, all caught on tape." The kidnapping and murder of the Israeli teens wasn't mentioned.
Reporter Alex Marquardt noted, "Tension is also rising elsewhere. Overnight, Israel targeted at least nine Palestinian militants and rocket launchers in the Gaza Strip, in response to the barrage of rockets fired into the Israel."
ABC, CBS and NBC did covered the deaths of the Israelis when they originally occurred. But how can one explain the events of the last few weeks without describing the original incident?
A transcript of the July 7 Today segment is below:
WILLIE GEIST: Natalie's got an update on this story on Israel right now.
NATALIE MORALES: That's right and the Islamic militant group Hamas is now vowing revenge for the deaths of seven of its members in an air strike. Israel says it carried out air strikes on at least fourteen so-called terror sites. And NBC's Ayman Mohyeldin is in Jerusalem with the very latest for us. Amen, good morning.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Retaliatory Violence In Israel; Airstrikes Carried Out On 14 "Terror" Sites]
AYMAN MOHYELDIN: Good morning, Natalie. The Israeli prime minister called the family of a Palestinian teen murdered last week to offer his condolences. But it may not be enough to calm the anger of Palestinians who have been clashing with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem, Palestinian cities inside Israel, and across the occupied Palestinian territories. But it's the tensions in Gaza that could lead to all-out conflict.
In Gaza it was a chaotic night. At the main hospital, Palestinian doctors worked to save the injured from an explosion that left seven Hamas fighters dead. The Israeli military says it did not attack the Palestinian militants, but did launch air strikes into Gaza.
In east Jerusalem, workers began cleaning up the aftermath of a week of violent clashes triggered by the brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager burned alive in a revenge attack for the killing of three Jewish teens by suspected Palestinian militants. Today in the spot where his son was kidnapped, Hussein Abu Khudair says he wants the maximum punishment for six Jewish extremists Israel says it had arrested.
And there's now growing outrage over amateur video showing the beating of an American teenager while he was in Israeli police custody. 15-year-old Tariq Khdeir from Tampa, Florida said he watching protests when he was arrested.
TARIQ KHDEIR: I remember them punching me. And after a couple of punches I went unconscious.
MORALES: Today he's home, hurt, but happy to be alive. The U.S. State Department said it is profoundly troubled by reports that Tariq was beaten while in Israeli police custody. The Israeli government for its part says they're going to launch an investigation into reports of police brutality. But for the time being, the family is focused on getting Tariq the proper medical care before they return to the United States next week and possibly take any legal actions against the Israeli government. Natalie.