Fake News Becomes the Norm: ABC Runs Footage of Kentucky Gun Range Claiming It Shows Syria ‘Slaughter’

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."

9 thoughts on “Fake News Becomes the Norm: ABC Runs Footage of Kentucky Gun Range Claiming It Shows Syria ‘Slaughter’”

  1. Impossible to beleive there could be this level of incompetence at a major news network- especially so on this particular story.
    Interesting the NYT comes to a rival’s defense: 1. Its a mistak, not willful propaganda 2. They confessed to the mistake 3. Partisans will sieze on it to claim bias.
    Notice they get out front labelling any critic or criticism right away.
    It is much easier to beleive the media is interested in continuing war, or at least this particular war.

  2. Naturally, ABC had to pick a firearms video from Kentucky out of their stock footage to make their bogus point. On behalf of my fellow Blue-grass staters: We get that you take us for a bunch of toothless, bible-clutching, gun-loving rubes. But Syrians?!

    BTW, we love Turkey, so long as it’s Wild.

  3. I thought that nobody had any idea about what fake news was and that it could mean anything you want it to mean?

    1. The war on Fake News is an umbrellamovement where everyone who wants to suppress something for their own interests or with the best of intentions can take part.

      It is a form of deregulation where rules protecting freedom of speech are removed, and it is a shift in power towards the reputation brokers, that is those who control PR and propaganda.
      PR can now decide not just who is considered good or bad, but also whether you get the chance to see the bad at all. It reduces the footprint of the undesirable sources. So for say, the Council of Foreign Relations this war on Fake News is a very important bandwagon.
      The mainstream press wants to get into this because they have become more aligned with power , have gone down in reliability (faster, cheaper, replacing production with boxmoving)and are experiencing more competition from social media.

    1. And here’s a similar quote from CIA director William Casey in 1981: We’ll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false”.

  4. For decades, the U.S. government had been allowed to produce and disseminate propaganda abroad in order to drum up support for its foreign wars but had been banned from distributing it domestically after the passage of the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948. However, the Modernization Act’s co-authors, Reps. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) and Adam Smith (D-WA, no relation to the Smith of the 1948 act), asserted that removing the domestic ban was necessary in order to combat “al-Qaeda’s and other violent extremists’ influence among populations.”

    Thornberry stated that removing the ban was necessary because it had tied “the hands of America’s diplomatic officials, military, and others, by inhibiting our ability to effectively communicate in a credible way.” Yet, given that Thornberry is one of the greatest beneficiaries of weapon manufacturers’ campaign contributions, the real intent — to skeptics at least — seemed more likely related to an effort to ramp up domestic support for U.S. military adventurism abroad following the disastrous invasions of Iraq and Libya.


    1. It has been reliably reported that during a meeting a Langley, Reagan’s CIA head William Casey stated, “We will know that our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false.” The CIA is not far from achieving its goal.

  5. An Orwell quote! What’s more Orwellian, a news agency employing people so lazy they thought no one would notice incorrect stock footage, or a President enamored of dictators who tells you that what you think is happening isn’t really happening, and to listen to him and his approved news sources for the real truth.

Comments are closed.