CNN republishes fake atrocity video; Update: CNN responds

posted at 8:00 pm on January 9, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday evening, I wrote about CNN’s use of an obvious fake video, sourced from Hamas’ webmaster, of an alleged Israeli attack on two young boys playing on a roof.  After being exposed by blogs, CNN took the video down without any explanation.  As of 4:30 pm ET today, though, the video has returned to CNN’s site, although they seem to have turned off the embedding for it. This version did get onto YouTube earlier — in fact, we used that to discuss this on today’s TEMS episode:

There are several points that clearly show this to be a fake. Yesterday I wrote about the doctors and the ridiculous effort at CPR, plus the inclusion of notorious pro-Hamas activist Mads Gilbert. When Duane and I looked at this again, we saw a few other points as well.

  • Take a look at the blood on the operating table.  For penetrating wounds, there is almost no blood, and what little there is looks washed out — almost orange.  The body should have been covered in blood, and much more than that should have transferred to the sheets, especially if someone was giving CPR.
  • The video alleges that the Israelis used a missile from an unmanned drone to attack the rooftop, but look carefully at that roof.  A missile hitting that roof would have left much more than a six-inch-diameter impact crater, even if it didn’t explode.
  • Also, the plastic chair is sitting normally in the blast zone, and the clothes remain on the clothesline in the background.  A missile blast that killed two boys on that roof would have done much more extensive damage.

It’s not only a fake, it’s an absurd fake.  It’s not even done well, and Gilbert’s dramatic headshake at the end of the supposed CPR — in which Doctor #2′s hands keep coming off the body — is only the cheesy coup de grace.  Why did CNN republish this?

Update: And as soon as I wrote this, HA reader Pete L sends me CNN’s explanation:

There’s no truth to accusations by bloggers that a Palestinian camera crew staged a video showing the death of the videographer’s brother after an Israeli rocket attack, said the team’s employer.

“It’s absolute nonsense,” Paul Martin, co-owner of World News and Features, said of accusations leveled by bloggers at videographer Ashraf Mashharawi.

“He’s a man of enormous integrity and would never get involved with any sort of manipulation of images, let alone when the person dying is his own brother,” Martin said. “I know the whole family. I know them very well. … [Mashharawi] is upset and angry that anyone would think of him having done anything like this. … This is ridiculous. He’s independent.”

Maybe Martin can explain how a missile hits a roof and kills two boys but does no more damage to the roof than what a pickaxe could do in five minutes — and how the furniture didn’t get disturbed.

Update II: Charles has more at LGF.


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