NDTV Reporter Explains the ‘Backstory’ of His Hamas Rocket Video

by Joel Gehrke

This is a great post by NDTV reporter Sreenivasan Jain where he explains his reporting of the now viral video of Hamas fighters firing a rocket at Israel from next to his hotel. An excerpt:

We knew then we had to air the story. For us to have filmed how a rocket was assembled next to us, on a site used twice to launch a rocket, endangering the lives of all those around us on two occasions -to not have reported it would have been simply wrong. But we did take precautions – we aired the report a good five hours after the rocket was launched, well into the ceasefire. By then it was clear that Israel was not responding, at least for the period of the ceasefire. (Incidentally, given Israel’s extensive surveillance of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip it hardly seems they would need the media to point out to them where rockets are fired from.) 

There was the question of  possible reprisal by Hamas; to this one, there are no easy answers other than to ask: how long do we self-censor because of the fear of personal safety in return for not telling a story that exposes how those launching rockets are putting so many more lives at risk, while the rocket-makers themselves are at a safe distance?  More so when we have rare, first hand proof of how it works?  

We have been asked how we can be sure that those who fired the rocket were members of Hamas. With groups like Hamas, absolute certainty is always hard to establish. The rocket we witnessed was not a one -off, launched by one of the splinter groups of the resistance. It was launched in a flurry of outbound missiles in the final moments before the ceasefire came into effect, suggesting the handiwork of the biggest, most-organized and well-stocked group on the Gaza Strip- Hamas. Also the fact that this was the second time a rocket was launched from the same spot a week prior suggests  this is not the work of one of the factions/ freelancers  but a more entrenched group.

Jain continued with a warning to both the Israelis and Palestinians from using his work as “propaganda” one way or the other:

I can’t imagine anything more disingenuous in both these positions. For starters, our report in no way absolves the IDF from taking responsibility for the appalling toll its offensive has taken on civilian lives. If anything, it only makes it all the more incumbent for the Israeli Army to evolve a response that minimizes the damage to civilian lives and property. So far, none is visible. As we and other media have reported from Gaza Strip areas like Rafah, Khuzaa, Shejaiya and Beit Hanoun, entire neighborhoods have been laid to waste, killing and wounding hundreds of civilians, many of them children  in order to hunt down a tunnel, or knock out a rocket launch pad. (Also Read: NDTV’s Hamas Exclusive Is An International Headline)

Equally, if we have reported that the other side – Hamas – is also posing a risk to Gaza civilians, surely those who are concerned about the Palestinian cause should direct their ire at that group, and not at us? Our report in no way implies proportionality. The death toll – close to 1800 Palestinians killed to about 60 Israelis – hardly needs restating. We know that compared to Israel’s firepower, Hamas’s rockets are a minor threat. Of the almost 3,600 fired so far, only 10% have posed a serious risk to Israel’s cities and have been taken down by its Iron Dome response system. The rocket we saw, in all probability, must have been the one of the 1000s that landed in open areas. But by firing these rockets from civilian areas, they threaten the people of Gaza more than anyone else: that was the simple point of this report.   

Instead a series of arguments have been thrown at us, for instance, the ‘we have no choice’ argument, suggesting that Israeli encroachment has deprived Gaza of open spaces from which Hamas can launch attacks.  This is factually dubious – one only has to drive down the Salahudin Road from Gaza City in the north to Khan Younis in the south to see that the Gaza strip is not, as is commonly believed a continuous urban agglomeration. ‘We have no choice’ is also intellectually questionable – it is the same argument that Israel advances to defend its atrocious record of collateral killings. 

I understand that he doesn’t want his work used to make the case for war for one side or the other, but the reason his reporting became so popular with the pro-Israel crowd is because of its uniqueness. If more reporters were allowed to report accurately from Hamas, the world would be better served.



Gaza Bishop Alleges Hamas Used His Church to Launch Rockets at Israel

by Greg Pollowitz

Here’s another example of Hamas’s use of human shields that the U.S. media somehow missed. Via Legal Insurrection:

We focused the other day on the ethnic cleansing of Christians by Islamists in Gaza.

But there still are about 1500 Christians in Gaza.

In this video released today, Archbishop Alexios of Gaza describes how Hamas had fired rockets from the church compound (at 1:12)(h/t @ColRichardKemp):

Alexios took CBN News to the roof terrace outside his office to show how Hamas used the church compound to launch rockets into Israel. He refused to discuss details on camera for security reasons, but days after the war started, Israeli missiles targeted an area close to the church sanctuary.

Video of the interview Archbishop Alexios here.

The Salon Most-Ridiculous-Story-of-the-Day:
Neil deGrasse Tyson Is Awesome

by Greg Pollowitz

My colleague Charles Cooke recently profiled astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson for National Review, calling him a “fetish and totem of the extraordinarily puffed-up ‘nerd’ culture that has of late started to bloom across the United States.” An adaption of the magazine piece is available for free here.

Anyway, as if to help Charles prove his point, Salon has this up today where Tyson spends about three minutes telling viewers how long a human would last on each “planet” in the solar system without a space suit or any other form of protection. 

As Tyson describes in the video how long one would last not just on the planets of our solar system, but on other objects such as the sun, an asteroid, and the rings of Saturn, Salon’s headline writer has taken quite the liberal definition of “planet.” 

Tyson goes on to say that a human will die on any celestial body in the solar system, other than Earth. Death will be instantaneous, or near instantaneous, except for Mercury where Tyson says you’d last as long as you can hold your breath provided that you exit your spaceship on the exact spot that straddles Mercury’s cold and hot sides and you spin around like a “rotisserie chicken.” And then you would live until you ran out of breath, spinning around in circles. For real. Science!

It’s an incredibly stupid video, but because Tyson is behind it — the totem of the Left’s nerds — it’s supposed to be something enlightening or special.



Greg Gutfeld Calls Out the Media’s Ebola Alarmism

by Greg Pollowitz

Here’s a great monologue from Gutfeld on the media’s overreaction to Ebola:


Videos Show Hamas Launching Rockets From Near Hotels and UN Buildings

by Greg Pollowitz

Let’s see how Hamas spins these two videos showing Hamas firing rockets at Israel from next to hotels and UN facilities.

Up first, here’s New Delhi Television (NDTV) with video of the terrorists first setting up and hiding the launchers, and then firing the rockets the next day:

And here’s the report from France 24 that alleges the Hamas rockets were fired “100 meters” from a UN facility:



Greenwald Publishing Secrets from a New Source

by Greg Pollowitz

CNN reports:

The federal government has concluded there’s a new leaker exposing national security documents in the aftermath of surveillance disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, U.S. officials tell CNN.

Proof of the newest leak comes from national security documents that formed the basis of a news story published Tuesday by the Intercept, the news site launched by Glenn Greenwald, who also published Snowden’s leaks.

The Intercept article focuses on the growth in U.S. government databases of known or suspected terrorist names during the Obama administration.

The article cites documents prepared by the National 

Counterterrorism Center dated August 2013, which is after Snowden left the United States to avoid criminal charges.

Greenwald has suggested there was another leaker. In July, he said on Twitter “it seems clear at this point” that there was another.

Government officials have been investigating to find out that identity.

The rest here.

And here’s the article from The Intercept.

CNN Reporter Apologized for Getting Drunk and Biting EMTs

by Greg Pollowitz

Via the New York Post:

The State Department launched an investigation after a foreign ​correspondent ​for CNN ​allegedly bit two medical workers​ ​during a drunken fit at the US Embassy​ in Baghdad​.

Senior international correspondent A​rwa Damon was said to be intoxicated and abusive to medics stationed on the grounds of the embassy, and bit both EMTs on their forearms as they tried to treat her on July 19, ​according to a $2 million lawsuit​ they filed against Damon and CNN in Manhattan on Monday​.

The papers say Damon, 36, bit EMT​​s Tracy Lamar and Charles Simons as they tried to help her, before threatening them and saying she was a “major reporter for CNN.” The suit claims CNN hired Damon knowing she “has a history of becoming intoxicated and then abusive,” and a “penchant for violence even when sober.”

A source tells Page Six, “The State Department prepared a report on the incident, which was sent to CNN.” But Damon continued working for the network, where we’re told she is well-regarded.

Page Six can also reveal a sobered-up Damon later wrote a groveling apology to US Embassy staff about her “disastrous behavior,” which she claims she doesn’t fully remember.

She said in an e-mail: “It’s been an extremely stressful time, I was exhausted, I had not had proper food all day and clearly miscalculated how my body would handle the alcohol consumed … Needless to say, I am utterly mortified and take full responsibility for my actions, which are inexcusable.”

Call me crazy, but I like her more now.


The Salon Most-Ridiculous-Story-of-the-Day: Robot Sex

The Salon Most-Ridiculous-Story-of-the-Day: What’s a Cheating Wife To Do?

by Greg Pollowitz

This is a real puzzle, a Scooby-Doo mystery even. What should she do?

Times of Israel Pulls Piece Titled ‘When Genocide Is Permissble’

Real Salon Article or a Parody?

by Greg Pollowitz

The Federalist had a delightful post up the other day challenging readers if they could tell the real Salon headlines from the headlines parodying the online magazine. 

Try the quiz yourself — it’s not easy to tell the difference. I only scored four correct out of the seven headlines.

Here are a few more of Salon’s very real headlines from the past two weeks that could just as easily been fakes:

What I learned from dating someone in an open marriage

I’m a lesbian marrying a man​

Teach teens to tie each other up! Kids interested in BDSM could learn about “kinky” sex from “50 Shades of Grey” — or from a professional educator

​And finally, there’s this one. . .

10 more strange facts about penises

​”More strange facts?” How many more facts do Salon readers want?



MSNBC’s Ed Shultz Doesn’t Want Amnesty via Executive Action

by Greg Pollowitz

Via SooperMexican:

I really don’t think much of Ed Schultz, but I have to admit that he does seem to sincerely care about the American worker, even if his solutions are usually socialist schemes that hurt America more than it helps. But in a remarkable segment on his show Tuesday evening, he admits that giving out worker permits to millions of illegals will hurt the American worker.

This is remarkable and off the Team Obama talking points that if Congress won’t act, the president should. We’ll see if the president is willing to actually act on his threats. Video of Schultz here.

Nate Silver: Dems Talking About Impeachment More than GOP

by Greg Pollowitz

Well if Nate writes it, it must be true:

House Speaker John Boehner said Tuesday that Republicans have no plans to impeach President Obama, and that all the impeachment talk was driven by Democrats hoping to stir up their base.

Boehner’s statement isn’t literally true: There have been mentions of impeachment around the edges of the GOP and by some Republican members of Congress. But on the whole, Democrats are spending a lot more time talking about impeachment than Republicans.

Consider, for example, the Sunlight Foundation’s Capitol Words database, which tracks words spoken in the House and Senate. So far in July, there have been 10 mentions of the term “impeachment” in Congress and four others of the term “impeach.” Eleven of the 14 mentions have been made by Democratic rather than Republican members of Congress, however.

Impeachment chatter has also become common on cable news. On Fox News this month, Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, called for Obama’s impeachment, for instance. But for every mention of impeachment on Fox News in July, there have been five on liberal-leaning MSNBC.

This data comes from a Lexis-Nexis search of transcripts on each network. It counts each mention of the words “impeach” or “impeachment.” The terms were used 32 times in a single episode of MSNBC’s “The Ed Show” on Monday. (Ordinarily, I’d adjust for the overall volume of words spoken on each network, but I know from my previous research that MSNBC and Fox News have about the same number of words recorded in Lexis-Nexis.)

The scoreboard so far in July: Fox News has 95 mentions of impeachment, and MSNBC 448. That works out to about 2.7 mentions per hour of original programming on MSNBC, or once every 22 minutes. (This data is as of late Tuesday afternoon.)

It’s not just MSNBC. Team Obama is using impeachment talk for fundraising. From The Atlantic:

21 Emails From the Democratic Party About Impeachment

President Obama’s supporters are using fringe threats as a potent fundraising tool. Here’s what it looks like.

And then there’s this gem caught by BuzzFeed’s Katherine Miller. Democratic Representative Sheila Jackson Lee has a slight memory problem:

We Never Tried To Impeach Bush, Says Democratic Lawmaker Who Co-Sponsored Bush Impeachment Bill

We’ll see if this lets up at all during the summer recess, but I doubt Dems will cut the rhetoric. 



Ratings Trouble at Morning Joe?

by Greg Pollowitz


With 72K viewers Tuesday morning, MSNBC’s Morning Joe came in fourth place in the 25-54 demo, behind Fox News’ Fox & Friends (253K), HLN’s Morning Express (102K) and CNN’s New Day (90K).

In total viewers, Morning Joe came in third place with 307K, trailing Fox & Friends with 931K and New Day with 327K, but ahead of Morning Express with 280K.

It’s a boring show — what does MSNBC expect? 

NYT: Pot Should Be Legal, But Don’t Smoke It?

by Greg Pollowitz

Here’s a one-line summary of life at the New York Times: Marijuana should be legal, but employees better not toke up because drug-testing of employees will continue. Via Michael Calderone at the HuffPo:

But the editorial board’s new stance doesn’t mean incoming Times employees can partake. As Gawker recently noted, the Times is one of several big media companies that require prospective hires to take a drug test. A Times spokeswoman told HuffPost that the paper’s policy for drug testing hasn’t changed, despite the editorial board’s decision.

“Our corporate policy on this issue reflects current law,” the spokeswoman said. “We aren’t going to get into details beyond that.”

Sarah Palin Has an Online TV Channel Now

Dear AP: Please Proof Your Tweets. Thanks!

by Greg Pollowitz


The AP later clarified its earlier announcement


When Promoted Tweets Go Bad

by Greg Pollowitz

This paid-for tweet asking me to subscribe to Israel’s Haaretz newspaper showed up in my timeline this morning:

I’m pretty sure, ”a beach day” was not the answer Haaretz was looking for. Unless, of course, those are special Hamas-proof umbrellas. 

So Sad: POTUS Cancels on Jimmy Kimmel

by Greg Pollowitz

I guess Jimmy Kimmel’s show is the “red line” the president won’t cross as he deals with Ukraine and the war between Israel and Hamas. Via Mark Knoller:

But, the fundraising will go on as scheduled:



Politico’s Roger Simon vs. Governor Rick Perry

by Greg Pollowitz

And this is why reporters shouldn’t try to be funny: