Bloggers cry foul over questionable Gaza news footage

Tuesday, January 13, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

Popular American news blog Little Green Footballs has called into question the veracity of a video news report from Gaza that shows a 12-year-old boy dying after allegedly being hit by an Israeli missile.

The video was shot by the young boy's older brother, who is an independent video news producer, and sent on to CNN and then other American and British media outlets.

The final product broadcast by CNN and others claimed that the boy and his 14-year-old cousin were innocently playing on their rooftop in Gaza City [Ed. note - why were they playing on a rooftop in a war zone?] when an unmanned Israeli aerial drone targeted them and launched a missile.

The next scenes shown are of the severely wounded boy receiving what reporters called last-ditch CPR efforts at a local hospital. The report then cuts to scenes of the boy's funeral.

But Little Green Footballs blogger Charles Johnson and hundreds of the commenters on his site noted that the light massaging of the boy's abdomen by doctors in the video can barely be classified as CPR, and certainly not a frantic, last-ditch effort to save someone's life.

They also noted that while CNN and others claimed the boy had received massive head injuries from flying shrapnel, shots from various angles in the video reveal no such injuries.

In a response to the blog, Paul Martin of World News & Features, which supplied the video to CNN and other media outlets, insisted that the Palestinian who shot the footage is the most respected independent producer in Gaza, and cannot be accused of bias, even when the subject of the footage is his own brother.

Martin went on, however, to admit that he never watched the footage himself before passing it on, which prompted Johnson to exclaim: "Wow. And we wonder why there's so much Hamas propaganda in the media."

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