What happened: Ben Collins, the so-called journalist who covers "disinformation, extremism, and the internet" for NBC News, was fooled by disinformation peddled by extremists on the internet.
• "A hospital," Collins fumed in response to a (false) claim from Palestinian officials that hundreds of civilians were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a hospital in Gaza.
• Fact check: A rocket fired from Gaza toward Israel by the terrorist group Islamic Jihad malfunctioned, causing it to land in a parking lot near the Al-Ahli hospital.
• "What we do know is that hundreds are dead at a hospital," Collins later asserted, without evidence.
Be smart: It is not known how many people were killed in the Islamic Jihad rocket whoopsie because Palestinian officials are known peddlers of disinformation.
Why it matters: Collins and other mainstream media reporters have been whining for years about the dangers of so-called disinformation, yet they are often easily duped by disinformation that confirms their beliefs—in this case that Israel loves to bomb hospitals and Palestinian officials are incapable of lying.
Fun fact: Earlier this year, Collins received "special recognition for incisive reporting from the trenches of the information war" at the 2023 Walter Cronkite Awards for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.
What they're saying: "'Disinformation reporters' desperately want to be the censors of the internet, determining what is true, false, and fit for public consumption," wrote Manhattan Institute fellow Christopher Rufo. "But, in reality, they are a constant fountain of false, malicious, and unverified information that—surprise—always pushes leftward."
• "Maybe one good way to determine if a story is valid is to ignore Ben Collins," wrote Philip Klein, editor of National Review Online.
Bottom line: Never trust a journalist, especially one who claims to be an expert on disinformation.