Christiane Amanpour had a problem, and in mid-February CNN talker decided to confront her network’s leadership about it. Her frustration boiled down to the fact that CNN was carefully running its Gaza coverage through its Jerusalem bureau’s fact checkers, which has always included Arab staff based outside of Israel as well. The stakes were too high, and the famous Hamas censorship and propaganda networks too powerful, for CNN to do what many newspapers were doing: run with copy straight from Hamas to print.

The results had thus far been undeniable: CNN anchors like Jake Tapper, Bianna Golodryga, and Abby Phillip were turning in thoughtful, deeply considered segments while holding politicians’ feet to the fire. Because of the plain facts of the war, Hamas’s depraved modus operandi was exposed for all to see. That’s when Amanpour went to management to demand a change.

Well, it’s pretty clear Amanpour’s strongarming worked. Here she is this week leading a sloppy segment playing up an already-debunked piece of Hamas propaganda. Anyone can get fooled by a video, of course—but that was the point of the fact checkers so reviled by Amanpour. This particular hoax was easy to spot: The “mass grave” in Khan Younis—to which Amanpour devotes a “difficult to watch” segment—was dug by Palestinians. After watching the story get notice from other journalists and even members of Congress, it became clear what this was: a real, live, actual disinformation campaign.

Perfect timing, then, for the return of Nina Jankowicz. Jankowicz, you’ll remember, was briefly put at the helm of a Biden administration censorship project dressed up as a “disinformation” board. It immediately became clear that this was the worst idea on the planet: Jankowicz had actually been fooled by disinformation campaigns and even arguably joined one—the attempt by national-security officials to declare Hunter Biden’s very real laptop a Russian trick. As Robby Soave points out, this particular story has had debilitating consequences for free speech and for the institutional legitimacy of national-security and intelligence officials: “Not only were so many so-called experts dead wrong about the Russian connection, they pursued all the wrong policies as a result. Vast efforts to pressure social media platforms to censor questionable content were what followed. Crackdowns by the FBI, DHS, and other law enforcement agencies on election-related information paved the way for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to crack down on coronavirus-related misinformation. This isn’t an insignificant or trivial issue that Jankowicz just happened to get wrong. It was emblematic of an entire approach to dealing with disputed facts—an approach pioneered by academics working in tandem with government agencies and directed at speech on social media.”

So why is Jankowicz back in the news? To combat the type of misinformation and disinformation spread by Hamas through Christiane Amanpour? Of course not. Through her dark-money group called American Sunlight, unnamed donors have funded her new crusade to investigate how Republican legislators have made it easier to be mean to women (read: Jankowicz) on the Internet.

The sad part about the disinformation scam is that disinformation does exist, you just wouldn’t know it by the attempts of progressive political activists who, like Jankowicz, have turned its pursuit into a McCarthyite partisan campaign. Indeed, the entire Israel-Hamas war since Oct. 7 has been infused with reporters’ startlingly unethical allegiance to obvious Hamas propaganda. That propaganda benefits progressive allies of the “disinformationists,” so it gets a pass.

As exposed repeatedly at major U.S. outlets, Hamas has created a network of fixers who have used their access to pose as photojournalists and shape the war narrative. Al Jazeera has now been caught credentialing several members of Gaza-based terrorist groups. And influential celebrity pundits like Amanpour have seemingly been successful in pressuring their networks to ease up on the fact-checking process that could filter out Hamas-planted stories. Obviously manipulated casualty statistics put out by Hamas have now made their way into regular media use without the disclaimer that used to accompany them. The filter is gone.

The result of all this is the spreading of physical violence against Jews around the world and the corruption of diplomacy by Westerners who have been reading from an Iranian script and occupying college campuses in deference to Iranian militias.

It’s fertile soil for aspiring watchdogs and disinformation researchers, if only we could find them.

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