A former war correspondent for CNN is threatening legal action against bloggers who suggest that video of him reporting the first Gulf War from a television studio is "fake news." The video shows Charles Jaco and another correspondent dramatically recounting events from the Persian Gulf, and later shows Jaco and the camera crew joking around in what appears to be a television studio (video embedded below the fold).
"My attorneys intend to act immediately against those of you receiving this who have sent and forwarded these emails accusing me of falsifying coverage," Jaco wrote in a memo to a local blogger who circulated the video via email. He also announced his intention to demand that LiveLink and YouTube remove the video from their respective sites.
Writes Mike Anderson of STLMedia.net,
That video is such garbage. It’s like a kids’ show, made-up BS. Monty Python-esque. Yes, it was staged, of course it was. And that’s a confirmation from a been-there-done-that American war veteran who, on that very day, had family members at peril for their lives from rocket attacks on their homes in Israel, who were actuallywearing gas masks and sealing off portions of their homes to create safe environments.
This report from Jaco is a fraud. And, Mr. Jaco, if you disagree, please have your attorney contact me.
Jaco claims in his memo that all of his reporting was done from the roof of a hotel in Saudi Arabia, and that the studio backdrop was erected to protect against wind and sand storms. The post-broadcast joking, he claimed, was merely a technique for dealing with the stresses of the possibility of a SCUD missile attack.
Of course NewsBusters would never suggest that the video shows blatantly fake news coverage (readers can decide for themselves). Jaco is clearly stressed, as shown by his mad dash to get his gas mask on. But his knee-jerk reaction to bloggers who poke fun at this clip demonstrates an odd sensitivity to these claims.
At the very least, the video is quite entertaining.