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NBC reverses; Mohyeldin to return to Gaza to cover ‘Palestinian side of story’

on 44 Comments

Ayman Mohyeldin

I don’t know who can take credit for this, Glenn Greenwald, Amy Goodman, the US Campaign to End the Occupation, Jewish Voice for Peace, the many reporters and readers who have been calling NBC– all of you out there– but this is triumphant news. It broke on reporter New York Times TV correspondent Bill Carter’s twitter feed.

Mohyeldin then confirmed.

And here is the official NBC statement:

“Ayman Mohyeldin has done extraordinary reporting throughout the escalation of the conflict in Gaza, filing 25+ reports over the past 17 days, including his invaluable and well-documented contribution to the story on the deaths of the four Palestinian children on Wednesday. As with any news team in conflict zones, deployments are constantly reassessed. We’ve carefully considered our deployment decisions and we will be sending Ayman back to Gaza over the weekend. We look forward to his contributions in the coming days.”

A bit defensive, huh? Bill Carter has put up a story at the Times that cites social media pressure on the decision but offers no inside explanation of the moves:

The decision to pull Mr. Mohyeldin off the story, after he witnessed an Israeli air attack that killed four young Palestinians and then posted remarks on Twitter about it, prompted a round of questions, and much criticism of NBC among Internet commenters. Some accused the network of reacting to pressure from the Israeli side of the conflict. ..

Other commenters speculated that NBC might have felt that Mr. Mohyeldin showed too much empathy in his social media comments. At one point he wrote, “just spent 45 min see family relative after relative learn that their children have been killed in #Israeli shelling of #Gaza port #horror.”…

On Friday, NBC declined to give any explanation — official or not — for the sudden decision to send Mr. Mohyeldin back into Gaza.

A triumph. In the midst of one of the worst human rights atrocities on the docket of the U.S., that’s the only word for it. Our country is changing; and brilliant young Arab-Americans are leaders.

Thanks to Adam for all the information in this post.

Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of

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44 Responses

  1. just on July 18, 2014, 8:02 pm

    From moments ago, I was happy to write after Sumud told us:

    July 18, 2014 at 7:49 pm

    Yesssssssssss! Many thanks Sumud!

    (He’s even gracious in his tweet. I hope he stays safe)

  2. richb on July 18, 2014, 8:20 pm

    Shows the power of online advocacy. I’m also happy that it is an Arab voice that prevailed. Even in the activist community there is too much white saviorism. I would only correct one thing in Ayman’s tweet. You’re telling the human side of the story. Congratulations and stay safe.

  3. American on July 18, 2014, 8:20 pm

    Hope he is double careful.

  4. Bumblebye on July 18, 2014, 8:22 pm

    Congratulations to Ayman! And all those who put pressure in the right places.
    Meanwhile, on its own “Feedback” program (bbcR4), they had a segment on the protests about biased coverage, called in a boss of the dept, and exonerated themselves. So that fight has to go on.

  5. pipistro on July 18, 2014, 8:28 pm

    So they aknowledged that press on his jacket didn’t mean aimed at being pressed? It was about time.

  6. Kay24 on July 18, 2014, 8:41 pm

    Wonderful news. It seem the outpouring of support has worked. I wish Ayman good luck, he has been a great reporter, and I looked forward to hearing what he had to say.
    I only hope he will be safe, and that no harm would come to him. He has contributed so much by his reporting and making the world aware of the true situation.
    We need to hear his voice from the heart of Gaza.

  7. asda on July 18, 2014, 8:48 pm

    I really hope they are doing this without mal-intentions. I mean to send him in and have him ‘hurt by hamas fire’ would work well in the media interests of the powers behind his initial removal.

  8. a blah chick on July 18, 2014, 8:58 pm

    “As with any news team in conflict zones, deployments are constantly reassessed. We’ve carefully considered our deployment decisions and we will be sending Ayman back to Gaza over the weekend. We look forward to his contributions in the coming days.”

    Translation: OMG, they’re on to us!

  9. Citizen on July 18, 2014, 9:18 pm

    Rachel Maddow segment Consider The Source, now talking about Press TV, and other foreign state run fake news. She cites two PressTV banner headlines: One about US taxes pay for Israeli war crimes, the other about US supporting Israeli war crimes.

    Sara Firth resigned today from RT because she is for the truth, she tweets.

    Attacks RT article saying airplane over Ukraine shot down, and shooters were really trying to shoot down Putin’s plane. Article later vanished.

    Now on S Power saying we must bring Putin to justice for what’s happening in Ukraine. Obama did the same thing. Blame the Russian separatists, who get the weapons from Russia. “Frankly, as much as Russia is invested in being seen as good guy, Ukraine has same investment in spinning the news. No claims from either side have been independently verified.”

    She says it’s a problem, all this media spin by all sides without any factual verification offered by an independent source. Concerned therefore the culprits will never be brought to justice.

    She never touched again her first example from Press TV headlines saying US taxes pay for Israeli war crimes. 90% of her spiel concerned the Russian proxy-Ukraine war.

  10. lyn117 on July 18, 2014, 9:38 pm

    Maybe that Richard Engel and the producer who didn’t speak Arabic really didn’t want to go to Gaza

  11. American on July 18, 2014, 10:06 pm

    The lies coming out of the cable news now are so wild its unbelievable—-Fox is saying that Hamas puts children in their jeeps as shields…steady stream of zios and neocons on the channels…..its like they are exploding with war fever lust.

    • Walid on July 19, 2014, 12:45 am

      American, more than about the children, the lie is about Hamas actually having jeeps. Fox would have probably preferred saying tanks for a stronger dramatic effect but it would have been too flagrant.

    • Penfold on July 19, 2014, 1:00 am

      Replace the word jeep with ambulance and shields with patients and they may be closer to the truth, but the original way makes it sound better when they shoot it up.

    • a blah chick on July 19, 2014, 8:12 am

      Fox should broadcast a scene from one of those spoof movies which featured an Arab terrorist with human baby shields strapped to him front and back. No one would question whether it was fake.

  12. a blah chick on July 18, 2014, 10:10 pm

    BTW, has anyone mentioned how cute Ayman is? Sorry, but I could contain myself no longer!

    • Pixel on July 19, 2014, 2:59 am


      See replies (below) earlier today to W. Jones.

      It cuts both ways. Just sayin’.


      Mohyeldin’s boss at NBC rallied ‘Jewish passion’ for Israel when ‘it is physically threatened Comments- Page 1

      W.Jones says:
      July 18, 2014 at 10:43 am
      Diana is Very attractive and intelligent.

      I think that I even saw her early this morning reporting from around the Gaza area, and assumed that she was a media hack. But apparently she actually has significant morals.

      It’s kind of interesting. The media has sent two people who apparently were decent, and they both got kicked out for minor, informal deviations from the party line that is in flux. Ayman didn’t even say anything that wasn’t objective.

      Probably they were trying to have someone who was at least a bit neutral, and when you send in neutral people, this is what happens, eg. Folk Bernodotte in the worst case scenario.

      Pixel says:
      July 18, 2014 at 11:18 am
      “Diana is Very attractive and intelligent.”

      Seriously, dude? It’s 2014, already.

      Mooser says:
      July 18, 2014 at 3:08 pm
      “But apparently she actually has significant morals.”

      Oy, such a balboosta Attractive, intelligent, and not a slut!
      Yes sir, W. Jones knows a good girl when he sees one.

      Inanna says:
      July 19, 2014 at 2:00 am
      It’s 2014 and the patriarchy is still hard at work, objectifying women and ensuring the male gaze is still entitled to pass judgement on women, their bodies, their morality and their intelligence.

    • German Lefty on July 19, 2014, 4:18 am

      Oh, Ayman looks good. But he’s not my type.

    • nettee on July 19, 2014, 4:26 am

      Dear blah chick,
      He is very cute ,I agree!

      Stay safe Ayman and keep up the tremendous work you are doing!

    • Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 19, 2014, 4:42 am

      Yes, I’ll admit that I have noticed that too!

      He is lovely.

      Which is part of the problem as far as the Zionist hoodlums are concerned – not only is Ayman intelligent, bilingual and extremely competent, he’s handsome too. We can’t have Arab men being so attractive on our TV screens. And ‘showing empathy’ for children being blown to bits minutes after he was playing with them? No, can’t have that.

  13. Kay24 on July 18, 2014, 10:28 pm

    Bill the zionist Maher had a full panel of zionists today, including Jane Harmon.
    It was such a love fest for Israel. They attacked the Palestinians, lied, lied, and lied.
    It was so disgusting I turned it off. I have never seen such blatant defense of Israel.
    Maher even equated Islam to ignorance, saying there are no scientists because of religion. This is unbelievable, and so disgusting. It seems everyone in the panel, including Nate Silver were Jewish, although he did not contribute much to adoration and support of zio land. Never going to watch him again. Never.

    • Shingo on July 19, 2014, 1:26 am

      Did you see Max Blumenthal’s tweet response to Bill Maher? Priceless.

      Maher posted the comment that:

      Dealing with Hamas is like dealing with a crazy woman who’s trying to kill you – u can only hold her wrists so long before you have to slap her

      Blumenthal responded with:
      Longtime racists @billmaher manages to support domestic violence & the Gaza slaughter in the same tweet.

    • amigo on July 19, 2014, 6:23 am

      Kay, it would be the same as running a Court case where only the prosecutor get,s to have witnesses .

      Just another Kangaroo court.Reverse the parties and watch the screams of antisemitism light up the skies.

      Sick self serving morons.

      • Kay24 on July 19, 2014, 9:39 am

        It is rather sickening amigo. For the past few days it is openly shown that the White House, to Congress, to the media, all support and defend Israel’s savagery towards civilians. Jane Harmon who is a well known lover of Israel, was heard by wiretappers, going against her own country, the US, agreeing to corrupt a case against an Israeli who had spied on us, trying to get him leniency. I mean, to have such a person on the panel, lowers the standard, and brings no credibility to the discussion. Yet the desperation to ignore the occupation, land grabs, blockades, and the ongoing slaughtering of children, by Israel, is despicable.
        Seems Maher heed the call by Dermer for hasbara, to help win the PR war they are losing.

    • Kay24 on July 19, 2014, 7:51 am

      At least some viewers were offended like I was:

      It was as if this show of sickening love for this brutal occupier, was orchestrated at this time. The entire blame was on the Palestinians, and no one mentioned the word “OCCUPATION”. Just for once, can some honest American suggest that perhaps if the occupation ends, so might the rockets? They seem to be blinded to Israel’s war crimes, the illegal settlements, the killing of babies (fault of Hamas) and the long ugly list.

  14. michelle on July 18, 2014, 10:44 pm

    channel surfing again
    looking for real news again
    glanced at tbn and the church channel
    as with most of the media there is no true debate
    it’s the interviewer and and Israel rep.
    making statements that agree with each other
    and both parties speaking ‘on behalf’ of Palestinian
    on the few minutes of the tbn airing that i managed
    to stomach there were four people
    two interviewers an Israel rep. and an ‘impartial witness’
    all asking for more money to support Israel and the Palestine
    people against the overbearing onslaught from Hamas
    this goes on all time
    there needs to be balance there needs to be a ‘Palestine’ voice
    well meaning are giving their money to help and it is hurting instead
    G-d Bless

  15. joer on July 19, 2014, 12:55 am

    And here is another crack in the silence: (I may have missed this on this site. If I have, then sorry for the redundancy.) The pop star Selena Gomez, with 154,000(presumably young)followers on Twitter has been tweeting out support for Gaza:

    And of course there has been the usual back and forth about it…

    • adele on July 19, 2014, 3:01 am

      Small correction, Selena Gomez has 21.4 million followers on Twitter. Her “Pray For Gaza” tweet received 10.9k faves. I read through some of the comments and from I could garner the verbal responses were overwhelmingly positive.

      And she hasn’t retracted the tweet, unlike Rihanna, et al.

      • Maximus Decimus Meridius on July 19, 2014, 4:49 am

        I never thought I’d see the day when Mondoweiss would link me to Selena Gomez twitter feed! Anyway, I clicked on the link and amidst breaking news items such as ”Selena looks stunning while out in Ischia, Italy for dinner,” it does seem Ms Gomez’ handlers have been on to her, as some of her later tweets seem a bit defensive. ”Pray for peace” and ”selenagomez: “And of course to be clear, I am not picking any sides. I am praying for peace and humanity for all!”

        But still, it may be yet another chink in the hasbarist armour. And I expect this to be the last time I check Selena Gomez’ twitter feed!

      • joer on July 19, 2014, 4:49 am

        It looks like she has a couple accounts,,,or a mirror account with less followers…Bianca Jagger also is very supportive on her Twitter account…one thing about Twitter: I have been following this attack mostly on Twitter, generally following about a half dozen Gazans at a time to get first hand accounts of what is going on. It is very chilling as they are describing the bombs getting closer as they tweet. When someone stops tweeting for a few hours it brings the reality of this bombardment home because you don’t know if the silence is because they are dead.

      • tree on July 19, 2014, 5:44 am

        The actor John Cusack also has some good tweets on Gaza recently. And Kerry Washington tweeted about the killing of the 4 soccer kids.

    • Darcha on July 19, 2014, 3:18 am

      MTV’s website has a short hasbara article on Selena Gomez’ tweet. What’s interesting is the comments section, where the pushback is amazing.

      babzluv sez: ‘This isn’t a war. Its a GENOCIDE. For all you who are justifying all these killings saying that “Hamas did this” and “Hamas did that”, I fear for your families. If you are ok with all the innocent people being killed in Gaza, then you would be ok if someone came and killed off your entire family. You would be ok if someone came and bombed your house. You would be ok if there were ground invasion and air invasions CONSTANTLY. ‘ (96/8 likes/dislikes)

      eissa has: ‘Educate, Selena… EDUCATE! Let your followers, who believe that the “posting this goes against all your Jewish fans”, that ZIONISTS are not necessarily the same as Jews. There are plenty of practicing Jews (including rabbis) who acknowledge the wrongs the Zionist state of Israel are perpetuating against Palestinians (Christians and Muslims alike).’ (96/6)

      Meanwhile matt opines: ‘Hamas terrorist suck’ and gets a 3/34 raspberry.

      This bears out what I see on many comment boards and makes me think that there is indeed a very big change taking place.

  16. Walid on July 19, 2014, 1:06 am

    I wish an equal pressure by everybody would be directed at the French government for having outlawed any and all pro-Palestinian demonstrations in France. After last Sunday march that ended in violence conveniently in front of a synagogue, the French JDL and the influential Jewish lobby group Crif had said they’d do everything in their power to get the government to block pro-Palestinian marches before the planned giant pro-Gaza rally on Saturday and they succeeded. Crif in France is what AIPAC is to the US and JDL is JDL, a sort of ADL with brass knuckles and baseball bats. Activists appealed the ruling to the courts but the government’s decision was upheld.

    • Sumud on July 19, 2014, 3:14 am

      They’ll demonstrate anyway.

      Interview with the synagogue’s president:

      From a google translate of the interview [my emphasis]:

      The synagogue rue de la Roquette she really was “besieged”?

      The president of the synagogue of the Rue de la Roquette is very clear from the beginning, his goal was “to put things in their context and in their measure.” And what follows is eloquent. “Not a single projectile on the synagogue.” “At no time have we been in physical danger,” he says. So where did this rumor come from? Serge Benhaïm think of a “confusion” between the events near a synagogue in Aulnay-sous-Bois , and those of the synagogue of the Rue de la Roquette.

      • Kay24 on July 19, 2014, 7:34 am

        False flagging, playing victim, wanting attention, justification for the massacre in Gaza, desperate to reverse the lost PR war?
        Anything is possible with the prevaricators. Lying is now second nature to the zionists, they will resort to sewer tactics to keep the sympathy coming.

      • Walid on July 19, 2014, 9:27 am

        “They’ll demonstrate anyway.”

        Big demonstration currently underway but the group has been surrounded on all sides by police preventing them from advancing towards Place de l’opéra. All side streets closed preventing the demonstrators from budging. Pro-Palestinians will be trying for a reversal at Superior Court.

      • Sumud on July 19, 2014, 1:00 pm

        Tear gas too Walid! I’ve been watching the photos via twitter.

        Meanwhile, you probably know – massive turnout in London today.

    • a blah chick on July 19, 2014, 9:56 am

      The banning makes no sense. If you think demonstrations on behalf of a particular issue are too volatile then ban everyone. Letting the Pro war people demonstrate won’t stop the counter demonstrators from turning up, so what good has the ban done? No this is about getting one side to shut up and go away, and it won’t work!

  17. German Lefty on July 19, 2014, 4:21 am

    All In With Chris Hayes 07/18/14
    ‘As long as it takes’
    Chris Hayes asks the spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu what Israel’s endgame in Gaza is and how long the ground invasion will last.
    ‘A tragic accident’
    Chris asks the spokesman for Israeli PM Netanyahu about four Palestinian boys who were killed in an Israeli strike while they were playing on a beach in Gaza.
    Second night of Gaza ground invasion
    The death toll approaches 300 as hospitals struggle to keep up with casualties and Israel weighs expanding its military operation.

  18. Tobias on July 19, 2014, 6:34 am

    While I think this is good news I also think it was very clever news management. Seems to me that this whole Mohyeldin story was part two of a frantic public relations effort to manage the media disaster that the shelling and killing of those four young kids on the beach had caused. Forgive me for being so cynical but the Israelis know that the only audience they really have to worry about is the US one and that the US is easy to move as the Netanyahu arsehole was once famously caught boasting. We all know that the modern US news cycle is fleeting with John and Jane Doe being normally more interested in the Kardishians or Honey Booboo than world affairs. Fours boys being butchered on a beach in full view of the world media had to have a quick response. Part one was the Israeli’s announcing their ‘humanitarian” ceasefire. This managed to knock the story off the headlines and to further keep it off NBC pulled Mohyeldin, who then became the story rather than his report. We are three news cycles or so away from the poor boys being slaughtered and while this NBC reversal is good news, it will now buy a fourth. Job done. The usual sad faced Israeli massacre apologists have been wheeled out with their soft toned earnest declarations that Israel would never ever, perish the thought deliberately target anything other than a therrorist, or his therrorist weapon or his therroristic infrastructure including his house, his bike, his hat and how utterly devastated every man woman and child in Israel is about this horrible incident and how Israel has opened an investigation into this therrible therrible accident and oh by the way it’s all the fault of Khamas anyway because they hide behind children and they started it and they haven’t built any shelters like we have. Now we will have discussions of how fair and balanced the American media is and how daring NBC are that they are actually allowing an Arab to report from Gaza.

  19. Walid on July 19, 2014, 8:05 am

    Sumud, thanks for the link. The good rabbi went on to discuss the misrepresented events at his synagogue and that his congregation had remained inside throughout the ordeal but at no time felt threatened and that the police had already been scheduled to be at the synagogue even before the march to la Bastille had been announced as there had been a planned gathering at the synagogue at 5:30 and the police are always asked to be present for events. 50 volunteers had showed up outside the synagogue as a precaution to the Pro-Gaza march, of which 30 were of the JDL.

    The rabbi asked the police to keep the JDL guys under control as he did not want trouble or to speak to them himself so police had contained the Jewish group behind the police line which was at 150 meters from the pro-Gaza activists and that’s when the JDL guys became restless and started breaking chairs to make wooden clubs with which to attack.

    The rabbi said that the JDL crowds are like free electrons that cannot be controlled and that they should be disbanded.

  20. richb on July 19, 2014, 11:04 am

    Eli Lake is tweeting that cable companies should dump RT. State-owned stations have obvious agendas. But Neo-liberal stations like MSNBC & OnTV in Egypt pretend to be independent fooling “liberals” in both countries. The latter was key in cheerleading the coup last year. Now the crossing is blocked and and so is a solidarity/humanitarian convoy and we all know about the bogus cease fire proposals. Media bias has real, even deadly, consequences.

    • American on July 19, 2014, 1:11 pm

      Eli Lake was involved in the defection of another RT female reporter earlier this year…..probalbly ‘buying’ them out with either cash or the promise of a more highly paid job at another news outlet.

      It was either Max or Ali or both who reported on this zio opt against RT. You can google it for details…and a picture of the defected RT reporter at a party after her defection with Lake and gang.

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