Hundreds gather at ‘The Dallas Morning News’ office to protest Israel-Hamas war coverage
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Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of The Dallas Morning News downtown office Thursday to protest the way the news outlet and the larger mainstream media have been covering the Israel-Hamas war.
Speakers from groups including the Palestinian Youth Movement, Indian American Muslim Council, Dallas Anti-War Committee and Party for Socialism and Liberation for Dallas-Fort Worth gave speeches. Organizers led the crowd in chants of, “Dallas media you can’t hide/we charge you with genocide” and “When people are occupied/resistance is justified.”
Jo Hargis of the Dallas Anti-War Committee gave a speech criticizing mainstream media reports that Hamas was beheading babies.
“There have been horrifying stories coming out that our media has reported and then quietly retracted in order to delegitimize the Palestinian resistance and justify a genocide of Palestinian people,” they said.
Reports that Hamas had beheaded Israeli babies began circulating widely on social media after the Tel Aviv-based news channel i24′s reporter Nicole Zedek said she had spoken with Israeli soldiers who had witnessed decapitated babies in a live broadcast, according to Al Jazeera. President Joe Biden then said during a meeting at the White House: “I never really thought that I would see, have confirmed, pictures of terrorists beheading children.”
A White House spokesperson “later clarified that US officials and the president have not seen pictures or confirmed such reports independently,” The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
“This playbook is not new,” Hargis went on. “Before the Iraq war, we were sold stories that babies were being taken out of their cribs and hospitals and murdered by the Iraqis. And these stories were used to justify the murder of thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi people.”
“Have we learned nothing?” Hargis asked the crowd, to which they shouted, “No!”
In an interview after the protest, Raneem Al-Hendy with the Palestinian Youth Movement expressed concerns about The News’ previous coverage.
She said news media, including the DMN, often frame the conflict as just starting Oct. 7 instead of being one act in a yearslong occupation.
“I want media to be asking more questions about what our demands are, because we are talking about our demands, we are saying why we’re here,” she said. “A lot of the time that’s left out for like one quote saying ‘I’m sad.’ …
“We want an end to the colonial occupation of Palestine. We want total national liberation. And we want to stop the carpet bombing of Gaza, and we want media to do their part to report honestly and truthfully about not just our actions, but the context.”
Joy Ashford covers faith and religion in North Texas for The Dallas Morning News through a partnership with Report for America.
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