A version of this article first appeared in the “Reliable Sources” newsletter. You can sign up for free right here.
This is a big black eye for ABC News.
“ABC aired supposedly shocking footage Monday and Sunday purporting to be from the frontline battle between the Syrian Kurds and the invading Turks. The only problem is, the footage appears to come from a nighttime machine gun demonstration at the Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point, Kentucky,” the Washington Examiner’s T. Becket Adams wrote Monday.
Adams was one of the first reporters to look into this — he was tipped off by a Twitter user. ABC issued a correction on Twitter and said the news division “regrets the error.” That’s an understatement…
Meanwhile, ABC did not air a correction on Monday’s “World News Tonight.”
A spokesperson declined to comment to CNN Business.
How could this happen?!
This is a stunning, embarrassing error for one of the nation’s biggest news outlets. The video aired on Sunday’s “World News Tonight” AND Monday’s “GMA.” I’m told that ABC is investigating what went wrong… But so far, as the NYT noted, the network is declining to comment “on how the mix-up had happened.”
At least ABC fessed up to the mistake
The NYT’s Mike McIntire made an important point on Twitter about “the difference between journalistic mistakes and fake news.” Here’s what he wrote, in italics:
1. It actually IS a mistake and not willful propaganda
2. It’s acknowledged and corrected
3. Partisan opportunists seize on it anyway to claim bias