Reuters’ Jerusalem Bureau Chief Luke Baker Tweets Report From Discredited PA News Agency
A tweet from Luke Baker, Reuters‘ Israel bureau chief:
Israeli minister Naftali Bennett says those setting fires can’t be Jewish, suggesting they are Arabs. But then this: https://t.co/NewnwuEq68
— Luke Baker (@LukeReuters) November 24, 2016
The article he linked to is from Wafa, the official Palestinian Authority (PA) news agency, re-posted in full below:
Settlers set fire to farming land south of Nablus
NABLUS, November 24, 2016 (WAFA) – Israeli settlers from Yitzhar Thursday set fire to farming land in the town of Huwwara, south of Nablus, according to Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settler activities in the north of the West Bank.
He said residents saw dozens of settlers setting fire to the land and watched from the hills celebrating as the fire raged in the area.
Fire gutted olive trees in the area, he said, as fire fighters and residents were trying to contain it before it spreads to other areas.
Weather conditions and high wind cause fires to spread fast as officials have warned against starting fire anywhere.
However, officials said the settlers took advantage of the bad weather conditions to destroy as much as possible of the Palestinian agricultural land knowing very well that the fire is going to spread fast.
Shouldn’t the Reuters bureau chief who has been in the region for years know this?
True, Baker is not reporting it as fact. He’s merely trying to show a possible other side of the story. But by any measure, this Reuters bureau chief is giving credence to a proven liar and the reports of an official media outlet that has no journalistic integrity whatsoever.
And Reuters has quoted Daghlas at least a dozen times in the past.
Baker is presenting unproven propaganda to his audience as something worthy of consideration, without telling them that the source he uses is not only worthless, but has been proven to make things up for political purposes.
A real reporter would do a modicum of fact-checking, not only of the story but also of the source.
Luke Baker prefers to spread the false propaganda rather than to even make a half-hearted attempt to verify or debunk it.