On Monday morning, ABC, CBS, and NBC continued the pivot that started late last week from sympathizing with Israel in light of Hamas’s October 7 terror attacks to their usual position of supporting the terrorists and their Palestinian followers. This time, they fretted Israel had made Gaza such a hellscape that an “ice cream truck” has been “turned into a makeshift morgue” and mentally and physically disabled children at an orphanage can’t be moved out of where Israel was likely to invade.
ABC’s Good Morning America again turned to chief foreign correspondent Ian Pannell and his ongoing concern for Gaza’s “humanitarian crisis” (which he refuses to blame Hamas for) because “Israel’s already reduced many parts of Gaza to rubble since last week’s attack” with “[m]ore than 2,700 Palestinians killed in just over a week and nearly 10,000 wounded.”
Pannell really took what Hamas was selling, hook, line, and sinker with multiple attempts to curry sympathy, including an “ice cream truck turned into a makeshift morgue” and crowds swarming a bakery for food.
Naturally, he brought in two Palestinians and a Doctors Without Borders spokesman to demand Israel cease any and all responses to Hamas’s slaughter (click “expand”):
PANNELL: Gaza is awash with grief and despair. This ice cream truck turned into a makeshift morgue. Palestinians lining up for whatever resources they can get as Israel has completely cut off food and electricity and limited water to the territory. Outside one bakery, desperation setting in. Hospitals are overwhelmed as the U.N. warns that the fuel that keeps those critical facilities open will soon run out.
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS SPOKESPERSON GABRIEL NAUMANN: There’s a lot of concern at the same time, but the biggest concern is to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe beyond what we are actually witnessing right now. We need to go back to the entire Gaza Strip. Not only to the south, but to everyone. We need to have the siege fully lifted so people can have access to food, electricity.
PANNELL: We’ve been following Talia Imad Herzallah, a student at the Islamic university of Gaza. Her family tried to flee, but without a car, they’re stuck.
TALIA IMAD HERZALLAH: [Inaudible] I hope we stay alive [inaudible]
PANNELL: Among those strapped in the Strip, upwards of 600 Palestinian Americans. The U.S. is in touch with many of them, but getting out has proven hard. I spoke on the phone with Maha Barkaa, an aid worker from New Jersey. She managed to flee south, but says she’s already run out of water and only has enough gas to make one attempt to leave. [TO BARKAT] You had to leave your home?
MAHA BARAKAT: I did. I left with my nephews and nieces. My brother cannot leave because I have an older sister who — she has a disability and she cannot move, so he has to stay with her.
PANNELL: [A]n update from Maha, the American from New Jersey. She says got an e-mail this morning from the State Department quoting media reports that perhaps the border will be open. She only has enough gas for one trip to the border. She says simply, I don’t know what to do.
In the second half-hour, Pannell had a second story with four middle-aged IDF infantrymen and, of course, he played up Hamas as “fighting on home turf” with advantages on “their infrastructure, their preparation, the booby traps, the tunnels.”
Pannell naturally tried to lecture them: “There are those voices there, across this region and elsewhere who say the price of military action is too great, that too many civilians are now dying. Too many Palestinians dying.”
One of the soldiers shot back: “We are in a full war here. The responsibility isn’t on us. You should take that question straight back to Hamas. We are here because we have no other choice.”
CBS Mornings followed ABC’s suit of returning to the well with its usual propagandist on the ground. Foreign correspondent Imtiaz Tyab tilted toward Palestinians:
Israel’s thundering air strikes of Gaza continues to level entire neighborhoods, as armed Palestinian factions fire back, causing misery for the more than two million civilians caught in the crossfire, while in the occupied West Bank, 55 Palestinians have been killed in the past week alone in clashes with Israeli troops during arrest raids and in attacks by Jewish settlers.
Tyab went for the heartstrings: “This exhausted doctor discovers his wife and children have been injured in an attack and later finds out one of his young sons didn’t survive. This man tries to soothe a bruised and battered baby by singing him a prayer. A little boy says his last goodbye to his mother.”
Tyab did interview a Hamas spokesman, but the lone questions to him were incredibly gentle: “Why abduct people? Why hold people hostage inside Gaza?”
In the second hour, Tyab boasted of “international pressure…mounting on Israel and Egypt to ease the humanitarian crisis that’s unfolding across Gaza.”
NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel said on Today that “[i]n Gaza, the humanitarian crisis is worsening”.
Despite nearly a week’s worth of Israeli pleas to evacuate, Engel put his thumb on the scales to paint an Israeli response as beyond the pale:
But not everyone can leave like the 22 children at an orphanage in Gaza City our crew visited. 12 of the children here are disabled. They’re being cared for now by only two adults after the rest of the staff left for safer areas. Iah (sp?) nine years old and blind and has profound disabilities. Maria is seven years old and can only scoot. These children can’t get out of the way of a coming ground war.