Yale Daily News Editor in Chief Removes ‘Erroneous Correction’ to Piece on Hamas Atrocities After Backlash
“At the end of a column by @sahar_tartak, editors at @yaledailynews affixed a ‘correction,’ saying claims that Hamas raped women and beheaded men are ‘unsubstantiated.’ @Yale’s student newspaper is running cover for Hamas.”
Like many other higher education institutions, Yale University has come under fire since the start of the Hamas-instigated war with Israel over anti-Semitic student demonstrations, and at least one allegedly pro-Hamas professor, Zareena Grewal, who on the day of the attacks reportedly tweeted “Israel is a murderous, genocidal settler state and Palestinians have every right to resist through armed struggle, solidarity #FreePalestine.”
The university’s student newspaper, the Yale Daily News, is also on the hot seat after a column published on October 12th titled “Is Yalies4Palestine a hate group?” had a correction added to it on Oct. 25th by their editor-in-chief, Anika Seth.
The well-sourced column, written by Jewish Yale student Sahar Tartak, discussed the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians and called out “Yalies4Palestine” for their Squad-like victim-blaming of Israel for the terrorist attacks:
This is precisely what happened in the Israeli desert this weekend. Except you weren’t there. You weren’t one of the 3,500 present, and you fortunately weren’t one of the 260 murdered. You fortunately weren’t abducted by Hamas fighters (if you’re a woman, child or elderly person), or shot or beheaded or killed in some other creative way on the spot (if you’re a man). You certainly weren’t Shani Louk, the young woman with a bullet in her head depicted stripped to her underwear with her legs “bent at unnatural angles” in the back of a pickup truck driven by the men.
This sort of barbarism went on throughout Israel this weekend, committed by Hamas terrorists from Gaza who seemed intent on killing as many Jews as possible. Yes, they raped women. Yes, they kidnapped children. Yes, they beheaded men. Yes, they cheered the whole time. It’s all on video. Over 1,200 are dead, not to mention those kidnapped and maimed. This is terror, and Hamas is a designated terrorist group — as described by the United States, European Union and dozens of other countries.
On October 25th, an editor’s note/correction was added to claim that the references to beheadings and rapes committed by Hamas were removed because they were “unsubstantiated.”
Editor’s note, correction, Oct. 25: This column has been edited to remove unsubstantiated claims that Hamas raped women and beheaded men.
At the end of a column by @sahar_tartak, editors at @yaledailynews affixed a “correction,” saying claims that Hamas raped women and beheaded men are “unsubstantiated.” @Yale’s student newspaper is running cover for Hamas. https://t.co/NPIrIXcdqf pic.twitter.com/6YopEnG50X
— Zach Kessel (@zach_kessel) October 30, 2023
The problem, of course, is that the claims were substantiated, as Tartak noted in a piece she wrote for the Free Beacon:
Unlike the Nazis, who took pains to hide their actions, Hamas broadcast them to the world. Live videos of the horrors were circulating on the internet—and on broadcast television—on the day of the attack. For those with lingering doubts, or inclined to split hairs about whether victims were beheaded or simply found with severed heads, international reporters were on the ground in Israel within 48 hours to chronicle the atrocities.
“We saw boys and girls bound, who were shot in the head. Men and women burned alive. Young women who were raped and slaughtered. Soldiers who were beheaded,” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the world on Oct. 11.
Two weeks after the initial attacks, the IDF screened video footage to journalists showing what Hamas had done:
The compilation video, which displayed many scenes of murder, torture, and decapitation, was obtained through call recordings, security cameras, body cameras belonging to Hamas terrorists, victims’ dashboard cameras, social-media accounts of victims and also Hamas terrorists, and cellphone videos taken by terrorists, victims, and first responders. There is reportedly evidence of rape, according to an Israeli military official, but it was not shown during the screener.
Israel's consulate in NYC screened a horrific video of Hamas's October 7 atrocities that had previously only been shown to reporters in Israel. I joined about 20 other journalists to watch it on Friday.
Here's a link to the article: https://t.co/nlPptFh4xi
— Jimmy Quinn (@james_t_quinn) October 30, 2023
Six days after the “correction” was added to Tartak’s piece, it was removed with the following note about the “erroneous correction” they initally added:
Editor’s note, Oct. 31: After publication of this column, the News appended an erroneous correction that has since been retracted. The News regrets the mistake and has issued an editor’s note about it.
In the editor’s note, Anika Seth claimed the paper modeled their corrections (a similar piece on the attacks was also edited to remove a reference to rape) on what they saw major news outlets like the L.A. Times do:
On Oct. 25 and Oct. 26, the News published corrections to both pieces, modeled on reporting and corrections from other outlets — such as The Forward and The Los Angeles Times — from earlier in the month.
The News was wrong to publish the corrections. By the time of the first correction on Oct. 25, there had been widely reported coverage from outlets such as Reuters publicly verifying that Hamas raped and beheaded Israelis.
These corrections erroneously created the impression that, as of late October, there still was not enough publicly available evidence for those horrific acts. The News therefore retracts those editor’s notes in their entirety and without qualification. The notes have been removed from the columns, and the original text has been restored.
— Zach Kessel (@zach_kessel) October 31, 2023
“It was never the News’ intention to minimize the brutality of Hamas’ attack against Israel,” Seth also claimed, which was rather interesting considering, as Tartak wrote at the Free Beacon, they have not been so quick to scrutinize pieces written that are critical of Israel:
Yale Daily News editors are not such sticklers when it comes to lobbing accusations at the Jewish state. An Oct. 17 op-ed accuses Israel of the “indiscriminate targeting of hospitals,” without mention of the fact that Israel actually targets Hamas operatives and infrastructure that the terrorist group hides among civilians, like the troves of rockets found in a U.N.-funded school. Another states point-blank that social media companies shadow-ban anti-Israel posts based solely on the fact that those posts experienced a drop in views.
Since the publication of her editor’s note explanation, Seth has made herself unavailable for comment:
The Yale Daily News—”the oldest college daily”—is one of the most prestigious undergraduate newspapers, and its editor in chief one of the most sought-after and influential positions a college student can hold. The Washington Free Beacon reached out to Yale Daily News editor in chief Anika Seth with a series of questions about the paper’s decision. Seth, who identifies herself as one of the paper’s “inaugural Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion co-chairs,” did not respond to a request for comment regarding what evidence the Yale Daily News requires to substantiate the claim that Hamas raped and beheaded Israelis or what if any atrocities perpetrated by Hamas the paper considers a point of fact. Nor did she respond to a request for comment about whether the paper has a policy of consulting with writers and reporters about corrections, or advising them when corrections are issued to their reports or op-eds.
As for Sahar Tartak, she has not let the experience jade her views on journalism:
Yale Daily News returned my article to original form. Does that make the initial change any less insidious? No. Does it prove that public opinion can hold our institutions accountable, not allowing them to defend or deny anti-Jewish murderers? Yes.https://t.co/yR2NQBENvA
— Sahar Tartak🇮🇱 (@sahar_tartak) October 31, 2023
Good for her, and shame on Yale Daily News and Anika Seth. That is, if they even have any.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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