The Associated Press' rough week continued on Wednesday, with reports it had hired an anti-Israel activist coming on the heels of a report that it shared a Gaza office building with Hamas military intelligence and criticism of its selective use of the term "crisis" on border issues.
The wire service kicked off its week by trying to do damage control after reports revealed it shared office space with Hamas militants in its Gaza bureau. Israel bombed the structure after it said it had intelligence the terror group was carrying out military operations in the building. The wire service claimed not to know Hamas was one of their neighbors in the Al-Jalaa tower, which also housed the media outlet Al Jazeera.
"We have had no indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building," AP President and CEO Gary Pruitt said in a statement. "This is something we actively check to the best of our ability. We would never knowingly put our journalists at risk."
But a 2014 piece from The Atlantic suggested otherwise. Hamas fighters would regularly "burst into the AP’s Gaza bureau and threaten the staff—and the AP wouldn’t report it," the piece alleged.
The AP said it was outraged that Israel struck the building and put its journalists in danger, pushing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to respond to them directly. He insisted Israel did everything it could to get them to safety and it wasn't "luck" that AP employees got out of the building.
A second Middle East-related issue arrived Wednesday when the Washington Free Beacon published a report revealing the AP has hired an anti-Israel activist, Emily Wilder, who reportedly once called the late Jewish donor Sheldon Adelson a "naked mole rat," and helped organize protests against Jewish students traveling to Israel on the Birthright program.
Wilder called the program "nothing more than ethnic nationalist propaganda" and accused Israel of engaging in "the ethnic cleansing and displacement of Palestinians in Palestine," according to Canary Mission. A spokesperson told Fox News on Thursday she no longer worked at the AP.
Based on the earlier report about the AP sharing a building with Hamas, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., quipped that he wasn't surprised by the new hire.
Fox News also reported this week on the AP's inconsistency in language. In March, the wire service instructed reporters to avoid words like "crisis" and "surge" when describing the scene on the U.S.-Mexico border because it could amount to "hyperbole." The guidance came in spite of record-breaking migrant numbers that were partly in response to the Biden administration's immigration policies. The Free Beacon did a deep dive into how the AP downplayed the crisis in spite of border officials internally calling it a "surge."
It was all the more confusing when AP Europe tweeted on Tuesday that flood of migrants into the Spanish enclave of Cueta was a "migrant crisis."
This article was updated with information about Wilder's employment status.