An ABC journalist who caused a media storm after denying reports of Jewish babies being mutilated by Hamas terrorists is now under investigation.
ABC director David Anderson, appearing before a hearing Tuesday to assess communications legislation, confirmed that the broadcaster had launched an internal investigation into Tom Joyner's conduct in the Middle East after he sent a text to several hundred other journalists around the world that read: The story about the babies is bull* *t”.
The Israel Defense Forces later confirmed that Hamas terrorists had mercilessly killed and beheaded babies during a terrorist attack on October 7.
“I know Mr Joyner is very remorseful and apologetic for the words he used,” Mr Anderson said under questioning from NSW Liberal senator Holly Hughes.
“He was trying to do what journalists do at the time, he was trying to check what sources he could find to back up the claims that were made at the time,” he said.
Mr Anderson said the ABC contacted the IDF to confirm the shocking report, but the Israeli military could not verify the report when contacted.
Mr Anderson said Mr Joyner's message had caused “misery” but he would be entitled to “procedural fairness” in the investigation.
“My Joyner has a right to respond here when we look at it,” he said.
“I'm sorry it happened.”
Ms Hughes suggested in cross-examination of Mr Anderson that the ABC's coverage of Israel contained an anti-Semitic bias, which Mr Anderson vehemently denied.
“I don't think the ABC is anti-Semitic in any way,” he said.
“We are dispassionately reporting what information we have at the time.”
Ms Hughes blasted an October 17 7:30 interview with Hamas terrorist Dr Bassem Naim, saying she had “zero idea” why the ABC had platformed an established terrorist, saying the public broadcaster had “legitimised” a terrorist.
“This is not legitimizing terrorism,” Mr Anderson said.
One of their lies was that they did not harm the Israelites.
“Through that interview, we disclosed it to them and they admitted that they did it.
“It is editorially justified to challenge the claims and misinformation they spread, given the despicable conduct they committed in interviewing this representative.”