(Luis Cornelio, Headline USA) The New York Times is facing intense scrutiny following a demand from Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., urging the DOJ to initiate an investigation into allegations of prior knowledge regarding Hamas’ October 7 terror attack.
Cotton specifically pointed fingers at several U.S. media outlets, including the Times, accusing them of hiring Gazan freelance journalists who were allegedly present during the exact launch of the attack that claimed 1,400 lives in Israel.
The DOJ needs to immediately open an investigation into whether @AP, @CNN, @nytimes, and @Reuters committed federal crimes by having journalists embedded with Hamas. pic.twitter.com/4PxHHg6TML
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) November 10, 2023
In a scathing letter addressed to Attorney General Merrick Garland, as well as executives from CNN, the Associated Press, Reuters and the Times, Cotton demanded answers regarding the outlets’ awareness of the attacks and the individuals they employed who may be connected to Hamas.
“If your employees, as part of their work, participated in terrorist activities or if your organization or employees provided material support (including any funding) to Hamas, the leadership of your organization may also face criminal penalties under federal law,” Cotton said.
David McCraw, deputy general counsel for the Times, fired back at Cotton’s allegations, accusing him of “parroting disinformation” against his company.
“As I am sure you agree, the spread of disinformation and incendiary rhetoric threatens the health of our democracy,” McCraw claimed in a public letter to Cotton. “Sadly, your letter to The New York Times of November 9 exacerbates those very problems.”
Deputy General Counsel for The New York Times David McCraw responded to Senator Cotton this morning. pic.twitter.com/LnQ5S3h9dz
— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) November 10, 2023
Moreover, McCraw claimed that the allegations, raised by Honest Reporting, had been debunked according to an interview with the AP.
“You say in your letter that you are relying on ‘reports’ that New York Times employees were involved with the deadly Hamas attack of October 7. In fact, you are merely parroting disinformation harvested from the Internet based on a website that has conceded it had no evidence for its claims,” McCraw continued.
The clash between Cotton and the Times intensified after Honest Reporting, a pro-Israel watchdog organization, released a damning report accusing some Gaza-based freelance journalists of being inexplicably present at the exact time of the Hamas invasion of Israel.
Important expose by @honestreporting: Photographers working for AP, CNN, NYT, and Reuters were EMBEDDED with Hamas on 10/7 and accompanied the terrorist group into Israel. They knew the attack was coming, and participated in it.https://t.co/HXVLHj0m6X
— Noah Pollak (@NoahPollak) November 8, 2023
As the controversy unfolds, Both CNN and AP have severed ties with the accused freelancers. The Times, on the other hand, called the allegations “outrageous,” going so far as defending the photojournalist it had hired to cover the Hamas attacks.
STATEMENT: HonestReporting stands behind the legitimate questions we asked media outlets in our recent expose.
We wish to clarify that we do not believe that journalists should be treated as terrorists unless they commit acts of violence.
We unequivocally condemn calls for…
— HonestReporting (@HonestReporting) November 10, 2023