Cheat-Seeking Missles

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hoover, CBS And Fake Footage

Some of you may have been following the Mike Hoover story for some time, but for those of you who, like me, are just getting into the man behind the Yale-iban, here's another update.

It turns out that when I wrote this morning that Hoover wasn't with CBS news, I was a bit off. Here's a juicy tidbit from FAIR dating back to 1989:
Dan Rather and CBS News ... adopted a cause throughout the 1980's--that of the Afghan mujahedeen. Sloppiness in the advocacy of that cause created a recent scandal for the network.

Beginning September 27th, a series of articles by Janet Wilson in the New York Post charged that Dan Rather's CBS newscasts had repeatedly "aired fake battle footage and false news accounts" of the Afghan War. Among the charges:

Fakery: CBS presented staged "action-packed commando" footage in which Afghan mujahedeen performed as actors in sequences purporting to show rebel advances, such as blowing up electric lines leading to Kabul. Scenes of mujahedeen stalking enemy positions and blowing up a mine were acted out and filmed in the safety of a Pakistani training camp. A Pakistani Air Force jet on a training mission was presented as "a Soviet jet bombing Afghan villages."

Invention: CBS News aired a segment in 1987 showing a bomb made to look like a toy allegedly planted by Soviet soldiers to injure Afghan children. The Post cited an unnamed BBC producer claiming the bomb-toy had been created for the CBS cameraman.

Distortion: On August 11, 1987, Dan Rather presented combat footage purporting to show what he described as "the biggest one-day defeat for Soviet forces since World War II," killing 800 Soviet troops. In reality, the battle was small and didn't involve Soviet forces.

The Post articles centered around Mike Hoover, a freelance cameraman responsible for much of CBS's suspect footage. Hoover, a self-proclaimed mujahedeen partisan, saw himself more as a filmmaker than a neutral newsman (L.A. Times, 7/29/87). According to the Post, Hoover orchestrated war scenes and encouraged mujahedeen to exaggerate their victories.
Since being outted for faking war footage and manipulating the MSM and -- worse -- the American people, has Hoover's career been in the trashbin where it belongs? Not hardly.

Fake footage or not, Hollywood's been very, very good to Mike Hoover.

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