The footage of a beige jacketed Palestinian man making a miraculous recovery after appearing to be injured in an Israeli airstrike was broadcast not only on the BBC but also on CNN.
HonestReporting’s video of this sequence has now been viewed over a quarter of a million times on YouTube, helping to expose Pallywood to an audience beyond our regular readership.
The reactions from the BBC and CNN when confronted with the evidence could not have been more different.
CNN’s Anderson Cooper made an on-air statement (Hat tip: Elder of Ziyon):
Anderson Cooper’s statement:
The video we aired came from the news agency Reuters and their feed to us did not include the image of the man standing. We asked Reuters about it today. They say they don’t know the source of the image of that man standing or when that image was shot. They also say they never saw or shot any similar image. The bottom line is that we cannot independently verify when the image of the man standing was taken… whether it was taken before or after.
The other image was taken of the man being dragged away. We obviously will not be using either of these images again. It is not only a traditional military conflict but also one that is being waged in the media as well and our only goal, as always, is to report the truth, the facts on all fronts and that’s why we’ve sent so many of our own reporters and producers into the field.
But what about the BBC? The Guido Fawkes blog published the BBC’s response:
To the best of our knowledge the pictures do not show any kind of ‘staged’ event – and were run in good faith. The footage shown by BBC News was edited from a longer sequence provided by the Reuters news agency in which the man in question is shown being lifted from the ground. He is then given attention at the roadside, before appearing later having recovered.
We ran a shorter edit of those pictures, and would point out that some re-uses of our output by others online have compressed the sequence further. Steps have been taken to ensure any re-broadcast reflects the full sequence so that it is absolutely clear to our audiences.
In response, HonestReporting’s CEO Joe Hyams said:
How is it that Reuters does not know the source of its own footage? It’s completely unacceptable for a supposedly respectable news agency to package unsourced and unverified footage, particularly when the Pallywood phenomenon is a known possibility.
It’s disturbing enough that outside media outlets evidently do not bother to check the footage that is supplied to them by Reuters and other agencies but it is even worse that the BBC cannot bring itself to admit the obvious even when it is staring them in the face.
Muddying the waters by questioning the credibility of HonestReporting and others who republished the sequence of footage is simply a poor attempt to divert responsibility from where it really lies.
While the BBC may be unrepentant, this episode has served to put the media on alert for any further instances of Pallywood staging going on in Gaza.
You can see the footage below if you have not already viewed it.