Signal boost: rebuttal to CNN report on death of Al-Jazeera reporter

Contemptible News Network, a.k.a. Complete Narrative Network, lives up to its name with a new “report” trying to blame/frame Israel for the killing of Al-Jazeera’s Shirin Abu Akleh.

Read this rebuttal by NY Sun reporter Dovid Efune in a Tw*tter thread, which I’m echoing here in its entirety.


A new @CNN report is now claiming “evidence” that Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed in a “targeted attack” by Israeli forces.

It’s a wildly irresponsible report, reminiscent of the al-Durrah libel of 2000 that fueled the deadly 2nd Intifada. 

CNN’s claims defy logic and some are overtly false. The report also makes ample use of multiple discredited sources and uses word tricks to misdirect the reader.

Below is a partial breakdown of the deceitful account and the unanswered questions it leaves. 

CNN essentially offers 4 arguments to make its case. Each of them is problematic. Credit for some of the below goes to a handful of intrepid internet sleuths, including blogger @elderofziyon.

First, a bit of logic: 

1. Per CNN’s own map, the Israeli forces were positioned in between Abu Akleh and the militants. If they were shooting at each other (green arrow for IDF, red arrow for gunmen), then the Palestinians were the only ones shooting in Abu Akleh’s direction. 

2. CNN confirms that both the Israelis and the militants were using M16 and M4 rifles. 

It then cites an “expert” who claims that the Palestinians, about 300 meters away from Abu Akleh, were out of range. 

The M4’s range is 500+ meters. The M16’s range is 800+ meters. 

3. The report relies heavily on “eyewitnesses.”

Citing witness testimony from within what @NatanSharansky would call a “fear society” is inherently problematic.

The sources are highly motivated to toe the line and would place themselves at great personal risk if they didn’t. 

4. CNN then cites “explosive weapons expert” Chris Cobb-Smith, who is no objective observer.

Cobb-Smith has a history (over a decade) of directing his “expertise” towards incriminating Israel. He’s also tied to some reliably anti-Israel groups, including Forensic Architecture. 

Cobb-Smith claims that the grouping of bullet holes at the scene could not have come from random (militant) fire. 

But CNN ignores the likelihood that the gunmen were firing — and specifically aiming — in the direction of the IDF, whom Abu Akleh was standing behind. 

Also, the spacing of the bullet holes shown by CNN, with one higher up and two lower down, seem unlikely to have come from a sniper, as CNN asserts. 

I know of no military that would retain a sniper who was that bad a shot, no less the IDF. 

5. CNN’s final piece of “evidence” comes from forensic audio analyst Robert Maher who matches the distance (200m) from which the deadly bullet was fired to the IDF.

Maher seems straight enough, but here’s the catch. Per CNN, there were 2 volleys fired in Abu Akleh’s direction… 

Maher only analyses the second volley because, CNN says, “eyewitnesses” say Abu Akleh was hit in the second barrage. But what if the eyewitnesses were wrong, per the above, and she was killed in the first?

Why does CNN not give us the same data from the first volley? 

If, as seems a more likely scenario, the militants (from 300m) came up behind the Israelis and fired in their (and Abu Akleh’s) direction, then the Israelis would have returned fire (from 200m) towards them.

Maher may be right on distance, but the IDF was shooting the other way. 

In sum, CNN’s report appears carefully constructed to fit a pre-determined conclusion: Israel is guilty.

It will no doubt be used to recruit for terror groups who prey on innocent civilians in Israel and in worldwide Jewish communities.

Their blood will be on @CNN‘s hands. 

All I can say is: if the “Palestinians” were sure their hands were clean in this matter, they would not behave in the manner they are.

ADDENDUM: Don’t miss HonestReporting’s detailed critique, which rightly speaks of a “character assassination” for this “farcical investigation”. Just one taste:

One can only imagine how credible CNN’s readers would find Huwail’s testimony if they knew he has described the terrorist who murdered four people in a vehicle ramming and knife rampage in Beersheba on March 22 as a “lone lion” who had “sounded the alarm of this criminal Zionist occupation.”

Mediatamites (“media-schandknapen”) will be mediatamites.

One thought on “Signal boost: rebuttal to CNN report on death of Al-Jazeera reporter

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