The mainstream media have ignored the fact that at least one prominent supporter of Hamas has donated money to an organization associated with former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE)--namely, the Atlantic Council, which receives support from the Hariri family of Lebanon, whose most prominent member, former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri, publicly backs Hamas.
Instead, they have attacked a story by Ben Shapiro citing Senate sources who said they had been told Hagel had received funds from a group "purportedly" calling itself "Friends of Hamas." Shapiro reported that he had attempted to obtain confirmation or comment from a White House spokesperson, who hung up on him.
Dan Friedman, the New York Daily News reporter who claimed today to be the original source for the accusation, has now admitted that the Feb. 7 story by Breitbart News' Ben Shapiro, which merely reported the allegation, was accurate as written.
Friedman was speaking to Ahmed Shihab-Eldin of Huffington Post Live when the following exchange occurred:
Shihab-Eldin: You say that your source admitted he may have mentioned your question to others…But now, Ben Shapiro, who wrote the Breitbart.com article, is claiming his story is, as reported, correct. Do you agree?
Friedman: I spoke to Ben--and I'm trying to avoid getting into a sort of personal argument, I'm trying to tell what I thought was a funny and newsworthy story, without setting myself as some kind of media critic or something like that--I talked to him, and what he said is that if you read his lead as caveated, that he didn't directly say this group exists. He said this person told him that they were asked if this group exists. So you can say that that, if you look at it, and read it that way, yes, it's accurate.
Shihab-Eldin also attempted to pressure Friedman to reveal the name of his source, which Friedman declined to do.
Shapiro had earlier told Friedman that "my source tells me that you were not the source of the information." The source indicated that "three separate sources," none of whom was Friedman, had provided the information.
A story by Breitbart News Editor-in-Chief Joel B. Pollak documenting Saad Hariri's ties to Hamas ran on the same day that Shapiro's story ran on Breitbart.com, further developing the story to its factual core.
The media, including the Huffington Post, ignored those facts and have shown little interest in exploring Hagel's financial ties or in demanding the full disclosure that has been requested by members of the Senate Armed Services Committee.