Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation into The Association Press, Reuters, The New York Times and CNN, claiming photographers used by the outlets were aware of the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks on Israel prior to their execution.
“These individuals almost certainly knew about the attack in advance, and even participated by accompanying Hamas terrorists during the attack and filming the heinous acts,” Cotton said in his letter he posted on X.
The Arkansas senator sent a letter to The Times, which he posted on X, demanding to know if the organization has any employees embedded with Hamas.
The Times replied to Cotton’s posting with a letter from the newspaper’s deputy counsel, David McCraw, who accused Cotton of spreading falsehoods online. The New York Times was pilloried last month after it relied solely on Hamas to declare on the front page that Israel had fired a rocket into a Gaza hospital, killing more than 500 people. The Times’ story fell apart quickly, as other news outlets examined several angles of videotape, and determined that the rocket was fired from Gaza, malfunctioned, and careened into the hospital.
According to Vanity Fair, as of October 24, other outlets that gave credence to Hamas’s version of the hospital blast as initially reported by The Times have either remained silent or admitted no fault in their coverage of the blast.
Cotton had cited reports that the photographers were cozy with Hamas, which McCraw said are “disinformation.”
This is not the first time Western media have been accused of being “cozy” with Hamas. Another such time was in 2021, after an Israeli airstrike destroyed a high-rise office tower on the Gaza Strip which was home to Hamas. The Associated Press shared the building with Hamas for 15 years, and then claimed “it had no idea the building was also home to Hamas.”
“No employee of The Times was embedded with Hamas, or had advanced knowledge of the attack, or played any role in the savage massacre that day,” McCraw said.
The National Public Diplomacy Directorate in Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office also said in a statement issued on Thursday morning that it “views with utmost gravity that photojournalists working with international media joined in covering the brutal acts of murder perpetrated by Hamas terrorists on Saturday October 7th in the communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip.”