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.