David Frum apologizes for tweets on Gaza images

The Atlantic

David Frum wrote an apology Wednesday about tweets he sent out last week calling photos taken in a Gaza hospital fake.

The mistake involves a series of photos from Khan Younis hospital in Gaza. AP, Reuters, and The New York Times posted images of two blood-covered men. The men were identified as brothers who had just seen their father killed in an Israeli strike. In three tweets, I expressed disbelief in the authenticity of the images. Michael Shaw at the Bag News blog painstakingly argues that I was wrong to do so.

On review, I agree that Shaw is right and that I was wrong. These images do appear authentic, and I should not have cast doubt on them. I apologize especially to Sergey Ponomarev of The New York Times, whose work I impugned.

Frum goes on to write that he’s skeptical because “there is a long history in the region of the use of faked or misattributed photographs as tools of propaganda.”

On Tuesday, Poynter wrote about the tweets and BagNews’ coverage of it. Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told Poynter “David Frum’s claims are false.”

Atlantic spokesperson Anna Bross says Frum isn’t facing any repercussions from the company.

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  • mamram

    He should have apologized to the brothers themselves. He barely even mentions them as people involved in the situation.

  • mamram

    And he never even apologized to the brothers, mourning the violent loss of their father, that he accused of putting on a show. To Frum, the only humans involved here are the journalists. It’s disgusting.

  • LaLeila

    (second try posting this) If Frum had said that and then stopped, that would have been an apology. However an apology followed by a “but” is not an apology, particularly not in circumstances such as these. He had slandered a photographer, but also cast into doubt the grief and experience of the two Palestinian men in question. As was noted by other commenters on the Atlantic site, he also never explains why he went with this charge on the basis of a single, extremely dubious source.

  • http://levynewsnetwork.wordpress.com TheDanLevy

    “On review, I agree that Shaw is right and that I was wrong. These images do appear authentic, and I should not have cast doubt on them.” That seems like a real & full apology to me, Your Highness.

    What more would you have him say to make it a ‘true apology’? He straight up says he was wrong & he shouldn’t have cast doubt on the images.

  • LaLeila

    If what Frum wrote qualifies as a true “apology” as your headline states, then I’m Queen Victoria.