The video of the “fake CNN report” from Israel has been edited 

Josh Hallett, Flickr

Original article (in Bosnian) was published on 26/10/2023; Author: Amar Karađuz

A video clip claiming to be a fake CNN report from the Israel-Gaza border showing “fake Hamas attack on Israel” is making the rounds on social media. The video, posted on a Telegram channel on October 11, 2023, suggests that it’s a staged report on the conflict in Israel. According to the description, the recording captures the “original sound” where reporters are supposedly being directed on what to film and how to act.

In addition to this allegation, the video is being used to draw comparisons with alleged staged reporting on the massacre in the Ukrainian city of Bucha. There are accusations of “propaganda against one side” in both instances.

They’re all scriptwriters, all movie directors: how Western propagandists and journalists work in Israel

On CNN, this reportage was played for several hours with the announcer’s text, but a recording with the original sound was leaked on social networks. As it turns out, the “true” story “from the very center of events” is a typical farce used to shape the public opinion.

‼️On the recording, you can hear someone behind the scenes commanding the cameraman and reporter where to run, where to lie down, how to record, what to say and so on. It would not be strange if this scene was also rehearsed several times.

Staged reporting is, one could say, go-to-tactic of Western garbage heaps, and they especially like to use it as focal points for propaganda against one side. It almost happened in this conflict too- “Palestinian Bucha”

In the video, a male voice is heard instructing reporters in English on what actions to take. The instructions include getting out of the way, lying down on the side of the road, having the cameraman approach, and attempting to appear frightened. At one point, a reporter asks, “Do you see this situation?” A male voice responds with “Oh yeah” and then a male voice asks for the sound of the explosion to be amplified.

While the initial posts didn’t specify whose attack CNN allegedly “faked” in its report, starting from October 15, there have been claims circulating that the media company actually “faked the Hamas attack in Israel.” This assertion first surfaced on Telegram.

CNN was caught faking the Hamas attack in Israel…so keep watching the mainstream news, it’s good for your health 😁

Both versions of the claims were published on dozens of Facebook profiles (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). 

What are the facts?

The video in question is an edited version of the original report broadcasted on CNN. It combines footage from the actual report with an additional audio recording of a man providing instructions, which was not part of the original broadcast. To assess the authenticity of these claims, fact-checking websites like Raskrikavanje, Faktograf and Raskrinkavanje from Montenegro conducted analyses of the videos and posts circulating in the region of Southeast Europe.

The spread of disinformation asserting that the CNN report was a “fake” was shared widely globally too. Consequently, global fact-checking platforms and media outlets, including PolitiFact, Snopes, Associated Press, Reuters, and others, also joined the efforts to scrutinize these allegations (1, 2, 3).

The original video of the report, without the voice of the man giving instructions to the reporters, was released by CNN on October 9 in parts (here and here) and in its entirety (here). The footage features CNN’s chief international correspondent, Clarissa Ward, and her team seeking cover after a barrage of rockets was fired over the Israel-Gaza border, where they were reporting from.

In the live text reporting early updates on the Hamas-Israel confrontation on October 9, CNN stated the following about the incident:

Ward and the team were surveying the aftermath of attacks along the Israel-Gaza border when they heard heavy rocket fire overhead.

The team then continued running and dropped to the ground in a nearby ditch.

While the report doesn’t explicitly attribute the attack to a specific side in the conflict, Clarissa Ward indicated that the sound of planes and the “Iron Dome” intercepting missiles suggested the attack originated from the Gaza Strip.

Upon emerging from cover, Ward pointed to an area of burned cars, which she said was the starting point of Hamas’ attack on Israel on October 7.

Responding to the Associated Press via email, CNN spokeswoman Emily Kuhn stated that the audio in the viral footage of the report was “made up”:

Emily Kuhn, a spokeswoman for CNN, wrote in an e-mail to the AP that the audio was “fabricated, inaccurate and irresponsibly distorts the reality of the moment that was broadcast live by CNN”.

The edited video first surfaced on the account TheQuartering on a social network (X), as reported by the web portal Raskrikavanje. It was initially posted on October 11, a detail corroborated by the caption in the left corner of the video when shared on Telegram.

Left, screenshot of the video shared on Telegram. Right, logo of the X account TheQuatering

“Palestinian Bucha”

Drawing a parallel between this “staged reporting” by CNN and allegedly falsified media reports about the massacre in the Ukrainian city of Bucha is another example of an attempt to discredit the “Western media” in their reporting on war events.

Regrettably, the conflict between Hamas and Israel has become another pretext for advancing this fundamentally anti-Western narrative. Such narratives were previously observed during conflicts in the former Yugoslavia and the war in Ukraine, as discussed in this analysis.

We’ve previously discussed the established details surrounding the tragic civilian massacre in the Ukrainian town of Bucha in an analysis, accessible through this link.

Therefore, we rate the earliest publication of claims suggesting that it is an authentic recording of “faking” reports from the battlefields in the Middle East, which further claims or implies that Western media are faking conflicts, as fake news and a conspiracy theory. Later posts get ratings for the distribution of fake news and a conspiracy theory.