More Reuters Weirdness

Reuters filed a report this morning in which the Lebanese prime minister cries about an Israeli airstrike which killed 40 Lebanese civilians:

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s prime minister, choking back tears, demanded a “quick and decisive ceasefire” on Monday after an Israeli air raid that he said killed more than 40 civilians sheltering from fighting in a southern village.

As diplomatic efforts to end the 27-day-old war between Israel and Hizbollah guerrillas stalled, air raids elsewhere in the south and the Bekaa valley killed at least 24 Lebanese and Israel said it may expand its ground offensive.

“An hour ago, a horrific massacre took place in Houla village as a result of the intentional Israeli bombardment that resulted in more than 40 martyrs,” Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora told an Arab foreign ministers meeting in Beirut.

His eyes brimming with tears as he spoke about the suffering of civilians, Siniora demanded a quick ceasefire and Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon. He also called for a prisoner exchange and for Israel to show where it planted landmines.

But an AP report says that the Lebanese prime minister revised the number killed down to one:

The Lebanese prime minister says only one person died in an Israeli air raid on the southern village of Houla, lowering the death toll from 40.

So, does Reuters report this new information? At first. According to Dinocrat, Reuters mentioned that the prime minister revised the number down to one. However, in its most recent report, Reuters drops the reference to the airstrike all together and refiles it as if the prime minister said nothing about 40 dead civilians. The newest version still has the Lebanese PM “choking back tears” but this time about civilian suffering in general:

Choking back tears as he spoke at the emergency ministers’ meeting of civilian suffering, Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora demanded “a quick and decisive” ceasefire but insisted it include a withdrawal of Israeli forces in Lebanon.

Political sources later said Lebanon’s government would decide on Monday whether to send its army to the south, a move long demanded by the international community which could pave the way for amendments to the draft resolution.

So why didn’t Reuters in its most recent filing just acknowledge that PM Siniora incorrectly reported the number of Lebanese killed instead of pretending like the prime minister never mentioned the attack? Is it that it just didn’t make Israel look as bad so it wasn’t worth mentioning anymore?

Dinocrat also asks how Reuters got the statements and reactions from the Houla residents which were published in its original report:

How then did Reuters get the reactions from the residents of that village, Houla, who said they feared that up to 60 people had been killed, and identified them as children and shepherds? Did they get that information from their Hezbollah handlers and allies? You may believe any story from Reuters / Hezbollah at your peril.

Flashback: Hezbollah’s Media Relations Deparment

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