CNN Anchor Christiane Amanpour Issues Public Apology Over Describing Terrorists’ Murder of Israeli Family as a ‘Shoot-Out’

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By NTD Newsroom
May 24, 2023News
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CNN Anchor Christiane Amanpour Issues Public Apology Over Describing Terrorists’ Murder of Israeli Family as a ‘Shoot-Out’
Stephen Segaller (L) and Christiane Amanpour of the television show "Amanpour & Company" speak during a 2018 Television Critics Association Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, on July 30, 2018. (Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

A CNN International anchor has apologized for incorrectly stating that the murders of an Israeli mother and her daughters by terrorists occurred during a “shoot-out.”

Christiane Amanpour issued her apology on May 22, following a 10-day campaign led by HonestReporting.

“On April 10, I referred to the murders of a British-Israeli family: Lucy Dee, and Maia and Rina Dee, the wife and daughters of Rabbi Leo Dee,” Amanpour said.

“During that live interview, I misspoke and said that they were killed in a ‘shoot-out’ instead of a shooting. I have written to Rabbi Dee to apologize and make sure that he knows that we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him,” she added, in a CNN recording posted on Twitter by HonestReporting.

In her original statement, Amanpour spoke about the deaths of Rabbi Leo Dee’s family while discussing the death of a young Palestinian boy, who was shot by Israel’s security forces.

“We have a young 15-year-old Palestinian boy who’s been shot and killed by security—Israeli security forces. We also have the mother of two sisters, Israeli-British sisters. They were killed in a shootout, and now the mother has died of her injuries,” Amanpour said in the original broadcast on April 10, Fox News reported.

Criticism followed after Amanpour chose to label the murders as a “shoot-out” instead of a “shooting.”

“A shootout is two sides firing at each other. A mother & her two daughters were shot at close range by Palestinian terrorists,” HonestReporting wrote in a post on Twitter.

Rabbi Denounces ‘Terror Journalism’

Criticism also came directly from the husband and father of the victims, Rabbi Leo Dee, who demanded in a statement to HonestReporting that Amanpour apologize, describing her reporting as ‘terror journalism.’

“This is the perfect example of ‘terror journalism’ where you have moral equivalence between the terrorist and the victim. This type of journalism perpetuates the conflict in the Middle East,” Rabbi Dee said.

The Rabbi went on to say that “the real cycle of violence is a comment like this followed by a terrorist atrocity and then more of the same.”

According to The Times of Israel, Rabbi Dee reportedly threatened to sue CNN for creating a “moral equivalence between the victim and the terrorist.”

The Rabbi further commented in an interview with The Jewish Chronicle, saying:

“Terrorists killed my family, and it’s time the world gets the message. There are evil people out there who need to be eliminated. But the vast majority of Arabs are good people. I meet them and we have so much in common.”

In a statement to Fox News on May 23, HonestReporting’s executive director Gil Hoffman said that calling out journalists like Amanpour when they’re wrong positively influences the media as a whole.

“The press covering Israel saw what happened to Amanpour, and I hope it will make them more careful to be completely accurate when they file their own reports. Even journalists with an anti-Israel bias—as Amanpour has proven to be—will have to watch themselves better, because they know we at HonestReporting are watching. That is called restoring deterrence on the media battlefield, and it is more important than ever for Israel’s future,” Hoffman said.

It’s Amanpour’s second time this month to come under public scrutiny.

Last week, she publicly denounced her boss, CNN’s Chief Executive Officer Chris Licht, during a graduation speech. Amanpour suggested Licht had created a platform for former President Donald Trump with a recent CNN town hall, according to a video posted by The Guardian.

Damages

In a live interview with i24 News, U.S. lawyer Prof. Alan Dershowitz openly criticized Amanpour and CNN for making repeated derogatory comments toward Israel.

“This was not a slip of the tongue: this was not an honest mistake,” Dershowitz told i24 News in the interview. The law professor insisted that Amanpour’s choice of words was part of a pattern at the network, and also vowed to join with other lawyers in taking on a case for damages on behalf of the Dee family. He said the family had suffered “emotional distress and harm” from the report.

“Let’s wait to hear what Amanpour says, not in a scripted apology, but under my cross-examination,” said Dershowitz.

Criticism of Amanpour and CNN has been echoed by several Jewish groups as well as organizations that support Israel.

CNN did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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