MSNBC Accused of Anti-Israel Bias After Knife Report

Screengrab/MSNBC
MSNBC

"He did not look to be particularly armed," correspondent Ayman Mohyeldin said of a suspected terrorist shot dead by Israeli police, contradicting the network's own video.

An MSNBC reporter in Jerusalem is being accused of anti-Israel bias for reporting that a suspected terrorist with a knife who was shot by police had no knife, even after the network’s own video clearly shows the weapon in the man’s right hand.

The reporter, Ayman Mohyeldin, spent several minutes insinuating that a man who rushed a security check point in the Old City of Jerusalem didn’t pose much of a threat when Israeli police shot him dead. While Mohyeldin spoke on one side of MSNBC’s split screen, the other side featured an image of the suspected terrorist moments before he was killed, his right hand raised and holding a knife.

Mohyeldin said he was at the scene at the time of the shooting and that he “did not see any stabbing attempt” there.

“He did not look to be particularly armed,” Mohyeldin said. “At one point, we can clearly see from where we were standing, from where his body was lying, his hands were open and both of his hands did not have a knife.”

Eventually, MSNBC anchor Jose Diaz-Balart interrupted his colleague to inform him that NBC video contradicted his report.

“Wait Ayman, … we can clearly see the man … with what appears to be, at least in his right hand, a knife,” said Diaz-Balart. “In his right hand, it’s fisted, and you see coming right out of the fist what appears to be a five-inch or longer black blade.”

Here is video of the exchange:



But while MSNBC reporters debated the existence of a knife, NBC News was far more emphatic, showing video of the incident while a journalist said: “It happened in an instant, in front of our camera, a man with a knife runs past a security checkpoint and is shot dead by Israeli police:

While MSNBC’s report occurred Wednesday, video began to make the rounds online Friday, and detractors were using it to accuse the network of bias. TheTower.org, for example, used the occasion to explore Mohyeldin’s previous reports from Israel.

The website IsraellyCool.com published a story headlined: “NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin’s lethal anti-Israel journalism contradicted by own footage.” And Breitbart.com wrote that “this is just the latest in Mohyeldin’s long track-record of promoting Palestinian groups and reporting unfounded allegations against Israelis.”

WesternJournalism.com blasted: "MSNBC reporter's big lie about Israel attack instantly proven wrong by one photo."

MSNBC had no comment.

Email: Paul.Bond@THR.com

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