Apparently, CNN decided that they didn't have enough video of rioting in their recent story on unrest in Belgrade, Serbia, so they decided to add in footage of rioting in Budapest to sexy up the story. I have to say, if the Kosovars intend to make the cut with CNN in the future, they'd better start rioting to the satisfaction of CNN's video editors. Either that, or CNN can start showing us all some truthful video with their stories. Whatever the case, CNN's misstep doesn’t just make them look bad, it makes all Americans look bad.
On July 30, CNN aired a report in their international news titled "Serb Ultranationalists Rally" in which footage of riots in two different cities and two different countries were edited together to represent the unrest in Kosovo. Serbian TV was a bit mystified by this embellishment, and rightfully so. RTS asserted that since CNN didn't have violent enough footage for their riots story, they "resorted to their favorite Hollywood trick" of "montaging and pasting together the sequences from Budapest and Belgrade protests" to accompany the story. (See foreign language report from Serbian RTS TV)
Naturally, since the original airing and posting on the Internet, and since people began to ridicule CNN for the melding of video of riots in different countries, CNN has removed the video without comment. Making matters worse, many now see a conspiracy where they originally just saw incompetence. A screen shot of the original CNN page clearly shows a snapshot of the video compilation.
For now though, the false CNN "montage" can still be seen on YouTube.com. And on that YouTube.com page one can find comments from one viewer saying that at the beginning of the video "you can see Hungarian flags and in the end you can see subway station (Belgrade isn't in Hungary and has no subway)." The same commenter also notes that all the rest of the video was from Belgrade. Other posters note several Hungarian and Serbian landmarks in the video paste job.
Here is the original CNN video footage as posted on YouTube.com:
Of course, what this sort of thing does is make America look bad to the whole world. CNN is not seen as "the left-wing media" by outsiders (even though it is). It is seen as the AMERICAN media. This sort of foolishness makes all of us look stupid for not knowing that Belgrade isn't Budapest, or for seeming to directly support one side or the other in the Serbian issue in our news reports, or all of the above.
(Photo credit: Der Spiegel Magazine)