You may have noticed the latest mini-crisis from Gaza: on Monday, five Palestinian civilians, including four children, were killed in a clash between the IDF and Hamas. How did the civilians die? Narratives collide: the IDF says two of the terrorists involved in the battle were carrying backpacks filled with explosives, which detonated and destroyed the nearby house that contained the civilians. Palestinians say the house sustained a direct hit from an Israeli tank shell or missile.
You’d think that anyone reporting the incident would be compelled to allow the ambiguous nature of the battle to feature prominently in his coverage. And some journalists, like Ethan Bronner of the New York Times, did just that. Bronner notes in the opening sentence of his story that "a dispute quickly arose over exactly how [the civilians] had died."