CNN reporter admits Hezbollah segment was propaganda

posted at 5:29 pm on July 24, 2006 by Allahpundit

Laura Ingraham took this guy apart on her radio show the night after the segment aired, and now he’s basically admitted it: the piece was shinola.

Given the scale at which CNN traditionally does this sort of thing, this almost qualifies as cute:

In his original story, Robertson had no complaints about the journalistic limitations of a story put together under such tight controls, and Robertson himself at one point seemed to agree with the Hezbollah propaganda claim that Israeli jets had targeted a civilian area: “As we run past the rubble, we see much that points to civilian life, no evidence apparent of military equipment.”

Challenged by Reliable Sources host (and Washington Post media writer) Howard Kurtz on Sunday, Robertson suggested Hezbollah has “very, very sophisticated and slick media operations,” that the terrorist group “had control of the situation. They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn’t have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath,” and he even contradicted Hezbollah’s self-serving spin: “There’s no doubt that the [Israeli] bombs there are hitting Hezbollah facilities.”

Perhaps to atone, one of Anderson Cooper’s producers has a blog entry up at CNN right now describing his own encounter with Hezbollah’s “crude propaganda machine.” Unlike Robertson, he doesn’t mince words:

12:44 p.m.: We’re back on the street and on cue, a Hezbollah resistance song is now blaring from an apartment. A young man on the porch dressed in black is giving us the victory sign. I look behind me and there’s our Hezbollah guide encouraging the young man to lift his hands higher so our camera can see.

12:50 p.m.: Anderson is doing a few more stand-ups about our story that’s quickly become less about Hezbollah and more about their crude propaganda machine when the “family” emerges from the bunker behind us and joins their friends in the street. They’re laughing, talking loudly, and gesturing with their hands, mocking anger. I really should learn Arabic. Anderson does another stand-up about the group now standing behind us.

Did Cooper report any of this? I wonder.


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As you may recall Robertson was the same blatant ass that pandered to Sadddam during the the last Iraq war. CNN employees many left wing, anti American porpagandists and this guy is one of the worst.

rplat on July 24, 2006 at 5:36 PM

What Hezbollah should do is hire Michael Moore to go out and do a documentary on the atrocities committed by Israel (America’s puppet). Hell, he’d probably do it for free as long as it makes the Bush administration look bad in some way. Moore would somehow find a way to show that President Bush is tied to Mossad and is intent on creating on Zionist world.

Rick on July 24, 2006 at 6:17 PM

What a loser, Nic boy. I’m surprised CNN caught on that they were set up like bowling pins.
BUT- Possibly CNN and Hizbullsh*t set the entire deal up together. Nic gets in tight like Arnett, Hiz gets positive media time plus slams Israel on big USA TV. Cooper gets a story he can go either way with, one kinda truthful and one for the next Oprah show visit. Its a non-story story.
A waste of time, breath, tape(well, memory), effort…they got stroked big time and they make-up a story out of this crap? All it was missing was Rather to wrap it up.

P.S. What’s going on with the nukes in Iran?? The distraction and misdirection by Iran seems to be working.

shooter on July 24, 2006 at 7:14 PM

I covered this story earlier this morning. The blog post was from a producer, so who knows what part he really had in this. He could be a coffee fetching producer. To get the full effect of the story, don’t miss the fawning comments to that blog entry. So many blind and stupid….

Also covered a Time.com story by an expatriot “historian” who so loved Hezbollah that she gave her only objectivity to…blame Israel and President Bush.

ScottG on July 24, 2006 at 10:27 PM

Cooper so far has repeatedly said things like “At least, that’s what Hezbollah wants us to see” or “that’s what Hezbollah says, thought the Israelis would point out there were bunkers under here” and so forth. His show’s camera showed a pack of reporters surrounding a woman on a rug on the ground in a forlorn pose.

Alex K on July 24, 2006 at 10:45 PM

Cooper: “These ambulances aren’t responding to any emergency, they’re sirens are strictly for effect.” “When a man is prompted to play Hezbollah resistance songs from his stereo, we decide it’s time to go.”

Alex K on July 24, 2006 at 10:47 PM

Yellow journalism. Today’s MSM reporters simpy do not probe and ask tough questions–to anyone other than the Bush administration that is. The so-called “speaking truth to power” ends at our borders apparently.

It’s almost as bad as the journalism the BBC practices, which is orange (yellow and red make orange).

Bellicose Muse on July 24, 2006 at 11:27 PM

The key to me is the lack of Editorial judgement.

I don’t fault those out getting the story… they can only see what they can see. The fault is in the editors running the story without thought to content or balance.

It would have been very easy, especialy as this WAS TAPE, to put someone else on, explaining the problems and possible bias that the tape showed.

Romeo13 on July 24, 2006 at 11:38 PM

As far as I can tell the entire MSM on the globe is ignoring some basic truths that I am forced to listen to Rush Limbaugh to get. It seems that a BBC reporter stated that “terrorists and not innocent civilians”, but the only place I can find the story is at Arutz Sheva.

More at Arutz Sheva.

DannoJyd on July 25, 2006 at 12:46 AM

The above post should have been that “many of the victims of Israeli retaliation in Lebanon are terrorists and not innocent civilians.”

My bad.

DannoJyd on July 25, 2006 at 12:47 AM

Israel is fighting two wars: Hezbollah/Hamas and world opinion. I think we as a nation should stand strong with Israel on both fronts,and take the main stream media to task not just for lying about our efforts in Iraq, but also Israel’s seeking to remain safe within her own borders. Not being a mouthpiece for Hezbollah would be a good start towards objective news reporting.

Doug on July 25, 2006 at 1:12 AM

Anybody who expects to ever see or read any honest reporting from the drive-by leftstream media, is a fool.

There will be little or no positive articles about America until the succeed in stealing control of the government again. Israel will get no decent reports even then, from them. It just doesn’t fit their leftist agenda.

As Winston Churchill once said, “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.”

“As for what is not true, you will always find abundance in the newspapers.” –Thomas Jefferson to Barnabas Bidwell, 1806.

LewWaters on July 25, 2006 at 3:48 AM

I think this whole thing simply shows how LAZY the MSM has become. Instead of going out to get a story, they take one handed to them.

Reporting is ALL propoganda at the

Cowards News Nutwork

dallas94 on July 25, 2006 at 11:18 AM

Anderson was very, very, very good on 360 last night (July24th). As noted above, there were many instances where he noted Hez’s propaganda. Other examples were how he mentioned that it was interesting that a “civilian” area could be so under Hez control that they were still running a PR machine in a bombed out area.

He also showed how most of Beirut was in a normal state, with almost all of the disruption in the state within a state in Hez’s part of Beirut.

I was trying to figure out how Fox had taken control of CNN. A much better job than usual from CNN. Anderson has been very good, reporting from the Lebanese border and showing how Israel and Hezbollah are actually acting, though he didn’t mention the BBC’s admission that many of the “civillians” are terrorists that Hez isn’t acknowledging to look tougher and to make the Israelis look bad.

Anderson is running a close second to Bill Hemmer’s work on FOX in bringing the real story and reporting as an American, rather than a supporter of Hezbollah like Amanpour, Robertson, and the BBC.

libertarianuberalles on July 25, 2006 at 5:00 PM

You just know that perky Katie Couric would dig up the truth if she were there. If only it weren’t so doggone dangerous for a single parent! Curse you dangerousness!

Editors take a lot of the blame, but so too reporters who fail to ask the important and relevant questions. Remember when Paul Mirengoff “grilled” two senators by simply asking them to answer the question directly? They were clearly not used to that. Bill Clinton is expert at answering circles around questions, without actually answering the question. Reporters let them get away with it all the time. All Robertson had to do in this case was say he wanted access to the building(s) to fully report. If they deny it he points that out and questions why in his story. If they grant it he has more info to work with.

Just the facts, ma’am. Just the facts.

Bellicose Muse on July 26, 2006 at 12:24 AM