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November 10, 2005
Haaretz Fails As A Source

One would suspect that of all news sources that would have some sensitivity to urban legends regarding secret Jewish conspiracies, Haaretz might be primary among them. Unfortunately as bloggers discovered today, they apparently aren't. They started what will surely become an urban legend of advance Jewish knowledge of the Amman bombing, even with al-Qaeda claiming responsibility today, by falsely claiming initially that Jordanian intelligence evacuated Israelis from the targeted hotels minutes before the bombs went off in yesterday's attack.

Haaretz posts a "correction" at the link they used to spread what turned out to be an unsubstantiated rumor, but don't bother to apologize for it. Instead, Yoav Stern reports on the false rumor as if Haaretz debunked it themselves:

There is no truth to reports that Israelis staying at the Radisson SAS hotel in Amman on Wednesday were evacuated by Jordanian security forces before the bombing that took place there.

The Israelis were escorted back to Israel by Jordanian security personnel only after the attacks had taken place, contrary to earlier reports.

Al Qaida said Thursday that it had carried out the triple suicide bombings at the Radisson, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels in downtown Amman, in which at least 57 people, including an Israeli, were killed.

Shame on Haaretz for publishing the rumor and then failing to apologize for its role in distributing it. For my part, this is the first moment I've been able to update the blog since readers and commenters informed me that Haaretz changed its story. I'm going to update my original post as well as publish this correction. I did say at the time that I found the report awfully strange:

This sounds quite peculiar to me, almost like the germination of an urban legend, but Haaretz has Jordanian intelligence escorting Israelis back to Israel.

If this is true, then why wouldn't Jordanian intelligence simply close the hotels and evacuate the guests somewhere else? I'd tend to consider this a bit unreliable unless we hear more confirmation later.

In the future, I will consider Haaretz a dubious source at best, and will likely not link to any breaking news there unless substantiated somewhere else as well.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at November 10, 2005 8:57 PM

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» Meryl gets results from Soccer Dad
Meryl Yourish caught a couple of bloggers repeating a bogus story that Israelis had been evacuated from one of the Jordanian hotels prior to terror blasts. Hugh Hewitt had reported the story first and about mid-day he noted: This story... [Read More]

Tracked on November 11, 2005 3:49 AM


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