Mainstream media reports on Sunday indicated that the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs had revised the death toll in Gaza. However, the UN did no such thing. Citing a report that showed the number of identified dead, many media outlets like USA Today, MSNBC, The New York Times, and many others spread misinformation saying the death toll in Gaza had been lowered significantly.

In yet another shameful attempt to downplay and justify the atrocities committed by Israel, the news media in the West continued to add to the blatant misinformation in a seeming effort to control the narrative and diverge away from the facts. It began by making false claims of 40 beheaded babies and the problematic nature of how widespread sexual assaults by Hamas were reported in the early days of the current conflict while providing shaky evidence

Like many previous wars, lies and propaganda are used to manufacture consent from the U.S. public to justify wars and slaughter millions of people. The country saw the same tactics used in the lead-up to the war in Iraq in 1991 and later to justify the deaths and displacement of millions in Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11. However, this latest lie, despite being debunked by real journalists who can tell the difference between “identified” dead and “estimated” dead, the stories are still up on many websites, and retractions are nowhere to be found as of this writing.

Reuters and a few others did clarify the record.

In a tweet viewed more than 4 million times, reporters at MSNBC can’t seem to tell the difference between “identified” dead and “estimated” dead

Meanwhile, politicians in Congress in both the House and Senate are perpetuating the lie as they refuse to see the facts as they are. Sen. Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor on Tuesday and promoted the lie along with misinformation that suggests United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) workers were involved in the Oct. 7 attacks–a story that was also debunked months ago.

When Donald Trump was in office, we heard mainstream media tell us about how once a lie is spread, it’s nearly impossible to get people who believe it to see the truth later on. Now, here they are doing the same thing. No matter how much effort we put into correcting the record, the fact that their articles are still up and can be used as evidence is beyond problematic.

Those articles are also being used to dictate policy. Policies like defunding UNRWA based on a months-old lie, banning TikTok over the public’s awareness of these lies, and attacking our freedom of speech from college campuses to social media. This is dangerous fascist-type behavior by our media and the intent seems to be justifying the slaughter of tens of thousands of Palestinians–70% of which are women and children.

Numbers that have not changed despite the reports you see.

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Arturo Dominguez

Arturo is an anti-racist political nerd. He is an upcoming author, journalist, advocate for social justice, and a married father of three. He is a top writer on Medium and a regular contributor to several news media outlets. He writes educational and informative material about systemic racism, white supremacy, and racial injustice.

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