On Sunday, as the mainstream media broadcast universal outrage at Trump’s decision to pull out of northeast Syria, ABC News showed dramatic footage showing “the fury of the Turkish attack on the border town of Tal Abyad two nights ago.” The pictures show massive explosions lighting up the night sky.
One problem: the footage was actually a 2017 YouTube video of a Kentucky military show. On Monday, the website Gizmodo revealed the true origin of the footage. ABC quickly issued a correction on Twitter, but not on the air.
Most of the reporting on this "error" treated it as a simple mistake. The reality is that, at best, this demonstrates a complete lack of fact-checking and at worst, a complete disregard for facts and truth by the deliberate use of "file footage" to illustrate a news story. This sort of "news" has become so ubiquitous that hardly anyone is surprised and the most of the media applaud ABC’s "correction." Gizmodo explains: "To be clear, there’s no question that Turkish forces are currently slaughtering the Kurds, as countless journalists and civilians on the ground can attest."
Yesterday NPR interviewed former National Security Advisor and UN Ambassador Susan Rice, who called the decision to leave NE Syria "Trump’s Saigon." She would apparently have preferred to have stayed in Vietnam, continuing the slaughter of millions. The message is clear: we must conduct war everywhere and never leave the battlefield.
Let us recall Orwell: "War Is Peace, Freedom Is Slavery, and Ignorance Is Strength."