Speaking in an interview with Erin Burnett on CNN’s OutFront news program, Israeli ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer denounced CNN coverage of the current conflict between Israel and the Hamas terror organization. The diplomat slammed CNN for its alleged bias for omitting key information in a report on Palestinian casualties suffered at a United Nations hospital in the Gaza Strip.
"I think it would be a disservice to your viewers for a [CNN] reporter from Gaza not to mention that in the last week we had two different UNRRA [United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration] schools where we had actually rockets found in the schools and handed over to Hamas," Dermer told Burnett on the evening of July 24. Host Burnett interrupted the ambassador to say, "These are two different UN schools, you're saying." "That's correct," the ambassador replied as he addressed the CNN network's perceived bias by suggesting that its reporters should do further background research on the conflict.
Here follows part of the exchange between Ambassador Dermer and CNN news host Burnett:
DERMER: That's publicly available information. It's kind of an important fact for your reporter to mention. And in addition to that, he may have wanted to mention a statement that was made by, not by the Israeli ambassador, not by the spokesman of the IDF but by the UN Secretary General yesterday. And I want to read you what he said yesterday. Not last year, yesterday. He said this:
"The secretary general is alarmed to hear that rockets were placed in an UNRRA school in Gaza and that subsequently these have gone missing. He expresses his outrage and regret at the placing of weapons in a UN-administered school. By doing so -- now listen, Erin, exactly what he says, -- By doing so, those responsible are turning schools into potential military targets and endangering the lives of innocent children, UN employees working in such facilities, and anyone using the UN schools as shelter.
This is yesterday.
Do you not think that it's relevant to report on CNN that the secretary general of the United Nations yesterday warned against the use of UN schools and shelter for rocket missile depots of Hamas?
BURNETT: Ambassador, it is relevant, and let me ask you this then --
DERMER: Well, I've been listening for two hours of reports on CNN. I have seen split screens, horrible pictures. Horrible pictures that any decent human being would be horrified by.
I have not heard a single person say what I just said to you now, and I think that that does a disservice to your viewers to not give them the context they need to make these judgments. Hamas is placing missile batteries in schools, in hospitals, in mosques, and there must be outrage by the world and Hamas to end this.
CNN has been accused of bias in another recent instance. On July 18, CNN reporter Diana Magnay was reassigned to Moscow after she referred to Israelis who were allegedly harassing her as “scum.” The former Mideast correspondent for CNN posted an angry statement on Twitter on July 17 shortly after having appeared on air with news host Wolf Blitzer concerning a rocket strike. Perched on a hill overlooking Israel’s border with Gaza, Magnay tweeted, “Israelis on hill above Sderot cheer as bombs land #gaza; threaten to ‘destroy our car if I say a word wrong.’ Scum,” she wrote.