It was eight years ago this week that France 2 TV introduced the world to Mohammed al-Dura, the Palestinian boy who was allegedly shot and killed during a gunfight between Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen, in a video whose authenticity has increasingly been called into question years after it inspired anti-Semitic violence around the world. The American news media not only highlighted the story -- as the ABC, CBS and NBC evening and morning newscasts collectively aired the video at least 28 times between September 30, 2000, and June 30, 2003 -- but the networks also showed other clips depicting Palestinians involved in fighting, supposedly with Israelis, that have been challenged by some media analysts, calling into question how many of the scenes shown by American media during times of Israeli-Palestinian conflict may be faked video that were passed off to international media as genuine. ABC's Good Morning American notably seems to have ignored the al-Dura story.

Boston University Professor Richard Landes has been a leader in delving into the practice by some Palestinian cameramen of staging scenes of violence to be used as propaganda against Israel. Landes notably took on CBS’s 60 Minutes in the film Pallywood, the first in a series of short documentaries produced by the Boston University professor. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recounts his unsuccessful attempts to convince the American news media to help expose the Pallywood hoax video phenomenon. While he recounts that American journalists he spoke with did generally agree with him that the deceptive practice likely exists, they were reluctant to be perceived as breaking neutrality by siding with Israel over the Palestinians, as he encountered a  view that it would not be “even-handed” to relay such unflattering activities by one side without finding similar examples from the other side. Professor Landes also cited an unnamed journalist at ABC as contending that there would be little “appetite” for the subject at his network. On his Web site, theaugeanstables.com, Landes recalls these conversations:



When France 2 TV helped stoke a new wave of anti-Semitism and anti-Western sentiment and violence by presenting the world footage it claimed to show the Israeli military targeting and killing a Palestinian boy, Mohammed al-Dura, a scene that has been invoked by Osama bin Laden and many other terrorists and suicide bombers, the American news media also ran the story, showing the footage numerous times on major television news shows. But evidence has mounted over the years that Israeli troops likely were not the ones producing the gunfire seen in the video. And the sources of the footage at France 2 TV are under increasing fire for their role in the matter, last week losing a court battle to media critic Philippe Karsenty, who goes so far as to charge that the al-Dura footage was actually a staged scene, and that the boy may still be alive, part of what has become a reportedly common practice of Palestinian film makers as they record scenes of fake violence to be used as propaganda. A look at such filmmaking and acting has been examined in the documentary Pallywood, complete with a corpse in a fake funeral procession that gets up on its own after falling off the stretcher after the "Jenin massacre" hoax, and an ambulance that arrives immediately next to the body of a man literally two seconds after he is supposedly shot. CBS's 60 Minutes was among those accused of being duped into using scenes of staged violence as if they were real. (Transcripts follow) 



The day after it was revealed that former ABC News Capitol Hill correspondent Linda Douglass was going to be joining Barack Obama's presidential campaign, "Fox News Sunday" host Chris Wallace said this was a perfect example of how liberal and biased the mainstream media are.

As my colleague Brad Wilmouth reported Wednesday, The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder wrote at his blog that Douglass was going to be leaving her position at National Journal to "join Barack Obama's presidential campaign as a senior strategist and as a senior campaign spokesperson on the roadshow."

The following day, Wallace was interview by WOR radio's Steve Malzberg, and was asked, "Do you have a problem with media people, you know, switching to go to work for political campaigns like that?

Wallace responded (audio available here, relevant section begins at minute 2:40):



Three months after former ABC News reporter and anchor Carole Simpson bounded on stage in New Hampshire to endorse Hillary Clinton for President, on Monday night (as previewed in this earlier NB post), she hosted a Hillary Clinton town meeting telecast from 9 to 10 PM EST on the Hallmark cable channel. At the top of the paid show, Simpson trumpeted “Voices Across America: A National Town Hall with Senator Hillary Clinton” as “an historic event bringing together voters from across America to discuss the issues that matter and the changes this country needs.” Welcoming Clinton, Simpson enthused: “It's my honor to introduce Hillary Clinton.”

Video clip of how Simpson opened the info-mercial (55 secs): Windows Media (3.6 MB), plus MP3 audio (300 KB).



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Pour Some Sugar On Me

Hillary Rodham Clinton (HRC) is having a one hour town hall meeting on the Hallmark Channel this evening, the eve of Super Tuesday, with an extra half hour for internet interaction. It begins at 9:00pm EST.

The hostess? Former ABC News pseudo-journalist and current Clinton endorser Carole Simpson.

The only thing that might be more lovey-dovey (and nauseating) than this arrangement is its description by New York Democrat Representative Anthony D. Weiner.

(Diabetics beware.)



In the fall edition of Ms. magazine, author L.S. Kim interviewed former ABC news anchor Carole Simpson to discover that it used to be that the news was presented "not in the public’s interest, but in white men’s interest." If that sounded plausible forty years ago, it certainly does not today. But feminist bloggers thought that Kim's article was "one of the standout articles." Here's how Kim quoted Simpson:  



Carole Simpson was a long-time anchor and reporter for ABC News, and is best remembered for anchoring on Sunday nights for a number of years. She's also remembered for moderating the 1992 presidential debate in Richmond, and especially for suggesting with a little bit of vinegar that President Bush, "the education president," should answer an education question first. Her endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president in her post-journalism years is utterly unsurprising (it's more surprising she's now claiming it was some kind of slip.)



Appearing on FNC's "Hannity and Colmes" to promote his new Hillary Clinton book Whitewash, NewsBusters publisher and MRC president Brent Bozell was asked to talk about former ABC anchor Carole Simpson's recent endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president.

Liberal host Alan Colmes tried to spin Bozell's remarks but Brent stuck to his guns, correctly pointing out that Simpson's explicit action wasn't revelatory to anyone who's looked at her work.

Indeed, as Brent Baker pointed out last month, Simpson has a long record of making ludicrously biased statements in favor of Democrats and against Republicans.

Watch the video above, on YouTube or download it in WMV, Real or in MP3 audio versions.



Former ABC News anchor Carole Simpson suggested she endorsed Hillary Clinton for President of the United States last month because she couldn’t think of anything else to say when the Democratic candidate called on her at a political event. “I kept trying to get her attention,” Simpson told the Boston Globe’s Peter Schworm. "When I did, I realized I didn't have anything to say. I felt like a deer in headlights."

So rather than tolerate a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, Simpson told Clinton: “I want to tell you tonight, because I happen to be here with my students, that I endorse you for president of the United States.”



Endorsing Hillary Clinton for President at a Tuesday night rally in New Hampshire, former ABC News anchor/reporter Carole Simpson exclaimed, an NBC News blog reported, that “it's very freeing now that I'm not a journalist, that I'm able to speak my own mind.” But Simpson hardly hid her liberal political views during her years at ABC. “Long Live Hillary” read the headline over an online tribute from Simpson, then anchor of World News Tonight/Sunday, following Clinton's 2000 senatorial victory. At about the same time, she denounced Clarence Thomas as the “cruelest” Supreme Court justice “because he has consistently voted against human rights.” If Bush names more like him, she groused, “God help us.” The 1994 GOP congressional victories upset her: “I would like to think that the American people care about poor people, about sick people, about homeless people, and about poor children. I am shocked by the new mean-spiritedness.”

Most infamously, in a 1999 interview with President Bill Clinton at an Arkansas tomato processing plant, Simpson made the story all about herself and her glory: “I have to bask in this moment, for a moment, because I am here talking to the most powerful man on the planet, who was a poor boy from Arkansas....I am an African-American woman, grew up working class on the south side of Chicago, and this is a pretty special moment for me to be here talking to you. How does it feel talking to me? That I made it, too, when people said I wouldn't be able to?” Clinton: “It's a great country.”

Video clip of the exchange on the November 7, 1999 World News Tonight/Sunday (40 secs): Windows Media or MP3 audio


It took 15 years to become official, but Carole Simpson has now confirmed what we always suspected: she's a Clinton backer. Readers will recall that during the 1992 campaign, the then ABC News anchor moderated a presidential debate in which she made life uncomfortable for Bush 41, notably with her snide "who would like to begin, the 'education president?'" poke.

According to this Boston Globe article, back in 2003 Simpson was "eased out" of her anchor chair in favor of Elizabeth Vargas. Simpson has now taken a teaching position at Emerson College in Boston, and last night turned up at a Clinton campaign stop in Salem, New Hampshire, where she proceeded to endorse Hillary's presidential bid. Here's how "First Read," a frequently-updated analysis of the day's political news from the NBC News political unit, reported it [emphasis added]: