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CNN Reporter Apologizes for Calling Terror Attack a “Shootout”

May 23, 2023

by: Ilse Strauss

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CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour has issued an apology.

Tuesday, 23 May 2023 | Lucy Dee and her two daughters, Maia (20) and Rina (15), were on their way to a family vacation when it happened. Palestinian terrorists armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles opened fire on the car in which they were traveling, driving it off the road. The terrorists then approached the vehicle to finish their bloody work at closer range, firing more than two dozen bullets in total. Maia and Rina died together on the roadside. Lucy clung to life for another three days before succumbing to her injuries.

There are a number of terms one could choose to describe the sequence of events that reduced a family of six to a grieving widower and three children. Heinous murder. Horrific terror attack. Cruel slaughter. The list goes on.

Christiane Amanpour chose none of the above. When discussing Lucy, Maia and Rina’s deaths on air on April 10, the CNN chief international anchor said, “The mother and two Israel-British sisters—they were killed in a shootout.”

Merriam-Webster defines a shootout as “a battle fought with handguns or rifles,” while the Cambridge Dictionary describe it as “a fight in which two people or two groups of people shoot at each other with guns.” Regardless of which source you look at, the term Amanpour picked to describe the murder of a mother and her two daughters implies two parties, both armed, battling it out.

Amanpour’s comment came live and on air in an interview with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and went largely unnoticed for more than a month. On May 11, media watchdog group HonestReporting saw the interview, retweeted the clip and added: “According to @CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, three members of the Dee family ‘were killed in a shootout.’ A shootout is two sides firing at each other. A mother & her two daughters were shot at close range by Palestinian terrorists. @amanpour, you owe a grieving family an apology.”

A firestorm of condemnation followed. Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that it was working on a complaint, which the Israeli Consulate in Atlanta would formally submit to CNN.

Five days passed with no word from either Amanpour or CNN. HonestReporting called them out again on May 16, adding that Rabbi Leo Dee, Lucy’s widower and Maia and Rina’s father, demanded an immediate apology. “This is the perfect example of ‘terror journalism,’ where you have moral equivalence between the terrorist and victim,” he said.

Over the weekend, Rabbi Dee announced that he was considering a US $1.3 billion lawsuit against CNN over Amanpour’s comment, the Jewish Journal reported. He added that he received a personal apology from Amanpour but that he did not accept it, reiterating his call for a public apology.

“They said they [wife and daughters] were killed, and not brutally murdered by an evil Palestinian terrorist funded by Iran,” Rabbi Dee told i24NEWS. “It’s the typical ‘CNNism’ where they are trying to do a comparison between the victim and the terrorist…Christiane wrote me a very brief email apologizing for any misunderstanding caused by her calling it a ‘shootout’…When you make a statement on prime time TV and then apologize in an email to a single person, it has a fraction of the impact.”

Amanpour’s public apology came less than 24 hours later. Twenty-two minutes and 50 seconds into her May 22 show, Amanpour, the anchor said: “And just a note. On April 10th, 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. During that live interview, I misspoke and said that they were killed in a ‘shootout’ 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.”

Amanpour offered her viewers no apology and failed to explain why it took her 12 days to correct, the Jewish News Syndicate points out.

There are a number of terms one could choose to describe the stance that the lion’s share of international media outlets take when it comes to Israel. Biased. Slanted. Framed. One-sided. The list goes on. But sadly, surprising isn’t one of them.

Posted on May 23, 2023

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 23, 2023)

Photo Credit: IAEA Imagebank/

Photo License: Wikimedia

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