Fake News

By Ken Shepherd | September 29, 2009 | 3:55 PM EDT

<p><img src="/static/2008/07/2008-07-20-SYN-CMS-Rather.jpg" vspace="3" width="240" align="right" border="0" height="180" hspace="3" />From <a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/cbs/rather_case_against_cbs_dismisse... target="_blank">TVNewser</a>:</p><blockquote><p><b>Breaking</b>: The New York State Supreme Court's Appellate Division has thrown out <b><a href="http://www.mediabistro.com/Dan-Rather-profile.html">Dan Rather</a></b>'s $70 million lawsuit against his former employer, CBS Corp. &quot;We find the complaint must be dismissed in its entirety,&quot; reads the decision. The Appellate court found that the motion court &quot;erred in denying the defendants' motion to dismiss the claims for breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty.&quot; </p></blockquote><p>Of course, unfazed, Rather (file image at right above) has <a href="http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2009/09/dan-rather-vows-to-a... target="_blank">vowed to appeal</a> (h/t <a href="http://hotair.com/archives/2009/09/29/breaking-appeals-court-tosses-rath... target="_blank">Hot Air</a>):</p><blockquote>

By Terry Trippany | September 10, 2009 | 10:16 PM EDT

At first I thought it must be an article from The Onion. Surely this couldn't be a legitimate news story.

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), who shouted "you lie!" at President Obama during his Wednesday night address to Congress, admitted to regularly consuming caffeine pills in 2007.

It is unclear if Wilson still takes NoDoz, a brand of pill that contains 200 milligrams of caffeine a pop. By comparison, a seven ounce cup of drip coffee contains 115 to 175 milligrams of caffeine.

Sadly this is someone's idea of news. The above excerpt is the startling revelation that appeared in The Hill's Blog Briefing Room under the ominous headline "Wilson regularly took caffeine pills in 2007". (h/t The Jawa Report)

By Tom Blumer | June 13, 2009 | 11:07 PM EDT

Sometimes the numbers in a wire service report are so ridiculous, you just know that they're bogus.

On Wednesday, June 11, a duo of Associated Press reporters, Chris Kahn and Sandy Shore, with an assist from Tali Arbel, reported on a study "green jobs" study released by the Pew Charitable Trusts. In "The Clean Energy Economy: Repowering Jobs, Businesses, and Investments Across America," Pew made the growth in "clean energy" appear more impressive than it is by vastly understating job growth in the rest of the economy during the past decade -- by a factor of three.

None of the three AP "journalists" involved, and none of the alleged layers of fact-checkers and editors at the wire service, had the intuitive sense to detect an error by Pew so pathetically obvious that anyone following the economy at all -- and that includes the folks at Pew -- should have known the figure involved was false.

Here are the first few paragraphs of the AP story (bold is mine):

By Mike Sargent | March 20, 2009 | 1:07 PM EDT

This morning, MSNBC’s Alex Witt was in full damage control mode, working whatever apologist explanations she could find into her reluctant coverage of last night's teleprompter-free “Tonight Show” appearance by the president. [audio available here]

Obama was doing quite well at staying on message, when he made the following comment in reaction to Jay Leno's question about his infamous lack of bowling ability:

JAY LENO: I imagine the bowling alley has been burned and closed down.
President BARACK OBAMA: No, I've been practicing.
LENO: Really?
OBAMA: I bowled a 129. I had –
LENO: Oh, no, that's very good. Yeah. That's very good, Mr. President.
OBAMA: This is sort of like Special Olympics or something.
By Clay Waters | February 25, 2009 | 4:57 PM EST

It's official: The New York Times got pranked by the girls of "Dating a Banker Anonymous," referred to in a fizzy Times profile last month as a "support group" dedicated to women whose "monthly Bergdorf's allowance has been halved."Linda Holmes, blogging at National Public Radio, was dubious from the start: "Isn't it totally obvious that this is a put-on?" She dismissed the idea of a "support group" and figured the people behind the blog were angling for a book deal. The Times responded to Holmes, defending the piece and snottily concluding:

I'm not sure what is thought might be fake about this. Ravi did talk to some of the men to verify the relationships and get their side.

But Holmes's skepticism has been vindicated, based on the "Editor's Note" in Wednesday's Times admitting the January 28 article by freelance reporter Ravi Somaiya was overblown:

By Brad Wilmouth | January 12, 2009 | 12:21 PM EST

Add NBC to the list of news organizations that have shown a clip of two doctors, one of whom is the controversial pro-9/11 Norwegian doctor, Mads Gilbert, supposedly trying to revive a deceased Palestinian boy at Shifa Hospital in Gaza – a scene which some critics charge appears staged. Last week, on the Sunday, January 4, NBC Nightly News, correspondent Richard Engel filed a report in which he recounted the story of a 12-year-old boy, Mahmoud Basrowi, the brother of "Ashraf, a Gaza-based television producer contracted by NBC News," as Ashraf claimed his brother was killed while playing on his family’s roof "when the house was hit by an Israeli shell or rocket."

Narrated Engel:

But in the Gaza Strip now, streets are mostly empty, fuel is running out and there's no electricity. Hospital officials say at least 430 Palestinians have been killed, 30 just today, including 12-year-old Mahmoud Basrowi. His family says the boy was playing on his rooftop with a cousin when the house was hit by an Israeli shell or rocket. Two doctors, one a volunteer from Norway, tried to save Mahmoud. Wrapped in a white funeral shroud, Mahmoud was taken by his brother Ashraf, a Gaza-based television producer contracted by NBC News.

By David Gerstman | January 12, 2009 | 5:39 AM EST

Yesterday, the Public Editor of the New York Times, Clark Hoyt defended his coverage of Israel's war against Hamas. Unsurprisingly, he took the "since both sides criticize us we must be correct" approach. Surprisingly, his attempt, "Standing between Enemies," was marred by a particularly stupid mistake.In order to show that the Times shows diligence in ferreting out fake news, Hoyt wrote:

Witty and his colleagues are frustrated because Israel has barred journalists from entering Gaza, and although The Times has two photographers in the region ready to go, it must rely on pictures taken by Palestinian photographers. "When I can't have my own person there, I have to question every picture that comes in -- to an obsessive degree," he said. Last summer, Witty unmasked as a fake a photo of an Iranian missile test that ran on many other front pages.
By Tom Blumer | January 9, 2009 | 11:27 PM EST

CNNvidIntroFrame0109.jpgThis post follows up on last night's NewsBusters post ("They Never Learn: CNN Withdraws Apparently Faked Video of CPR Attempt on 'Dead' Palestinian Child").

CNN has reposted a video it withdrew yesterday. That video purports to show the death and hasty burial of a cameraman's 12 year-old younger brother, one of two children allegedly killed on the roof of their home in rocket fire from an Israeli drone.

Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee, and several NB commenters yesterday all questioned the credibility of the video. Johnson, Owens, and Morrissey still believe it was staged.

Here are some excerpts from CNN's explanation for re-posting the video, and why it believes it to be genuine (the video itself is here):

By Tom Blumer | January 9, 2009 | 1:46 PM EST

GazaDestructionWithBushPic0109Correction (Feb. 10, 2009): Corrected from original reporting attributing AP and Getty with the photo editing. In fact it was ABCNews.com, not AP or Getty Images that overlaid the Bush photo on the Gaza rubble photo. AP and Getty Images supplied the respective photos.  Thanks to the folks at StinkyJournalism.org for pointing out the error.

I guess, since flat-out fauxtography as practiced in 2006 in the Middle East has become so difficult, and has been shown as likely to be detected, that the press has decided to go with "creative" image placement to do the dirty work that must be done to create sympathy for Hamas and antipathy towards President Bush and the United States.

For "some reason," the editors at ABCNews.com placed President Bush's image at its bottom right. The photo compilation (shown above) accompanied a report by Miguel Marquez and Simon McGregor-Wood that appears to have also run on the network's "World News" program.

The wreckage in the photo purports to be "the destroyed house of Hamas leader of Nizar Rayan following an Israeli air strike the day before in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip" (given the state of reporting out of the region, one never knows for sure).

There is no good reason for Mr. Bush's picture to be included, since:

By Tom Blumer | January 8, 2009 | 9:16 PM EST


See Jan. 9 Follow-up -- "CNN Doubles Down: Reposts Withdrawn Video of Apparently Faked CPR Attempt on 'Dead' Palestinian Child"

Not that it ever really went away, but fake news is back in Gaza, and the worldwide media is being played.

Many readers will likely detect the fakery in the linked video pictured on the right on their own (HTs to Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs [LGF] and Bob Owens of Confederate Yankee via Instapundit).

The video purports to show the death and hasty burial of a cameraman's 12 year-old younger brother, one of two children allegedly killed on the roof of their home in rocket fire from an Israeli drone.

A seemingly pretty knowledgeable LGF commenter spotted what many inexpert readers who see the video will also catch (bolds are mine):

I’m no military expert, but I am a doctor, and this video is bullsh-t. The chest compressions that were being performed at the beginning of this video were absolutely, positively fake. The large man in the white coat was NOT performing CPR on that child. He was just sort of tapping on the child’s sternum a little bit with his fingers. You can’t make blood flow like that. Furthermore, there’s no point in doing chest compressions if you’re not also ventilating the patient somehow.

By Noel Sheppard | December 30, 2008 | 10:39 AM EST

In an obvious attempt to counter the typically anti-Israeli sentiment prevalent throughout the international media whenever Israel defends itself, the Israel Defense Forces launched its own YouTube channel Monday.

As most impartial Americans are aware, old and new media were used against Israel in 2006 to foment international criticism of its attacks on Lebanon not the least of which was a Reuters photographer caught doctoring pictures

With this in mind, as reported by the Jerusalem Post Tuesday, the IDF plans on being much more proactive this time in making the international community completely aware of what's really going on with Israel's recent military response in the Gaza Strip (video example embedded right): 

By Mark Finkelstein | December 24, 2008 | 9:02 AM EST

There was no Memorex around when the brontosauri were bidding bye-bye, but I think we have a pretty good idea of what they sounded like as they were going extinct.  Just listen to Brian Williams this morning.  Appearing on Morning Joe, the NBC Nightly News anchor lamented the decline of "classically-trained" journalists in favor of guys with "an opinion and a modem."  

A question from Pat Buchanan about the ebbing fortunes of the old media set Williams off on a soliloquy he assured us was not self-interested.