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Journalists





International Business Times Corrects Gal Gadot Mossad Story


"Wonder Woman" super-star Gal Gadot was in the headlines again this week, and not just for her cinematic exploits. As noted yesterday in CAMERA's Snapshots blog, The International Business Times published, and subsequently corrected, an erroneous headline claiming: "Lebanese Newspaper Claims to Reveal Gal Gadot's Alleged Alternate Identity as Mossad."
 
 
Furthermore, journalist Lauren Dubois falsely reported:

However, at least according to a Lebanese newspaper, Israeli actress Gal Gadot also has another secret identity—as a Mossad agent.

The paper, a daily known as Al Liwaa, published an image of Gadot on their front page Monday, claiming in an unsubstantiated report (via The Times of Israel), that she was actually Collette Vianfi, an agent from Israel’s international spy agency who was allegedly recruited to work with Lebanese actor and playwright Ziad Itani, who was arrested on Friday on charges of “collaborating” with Israel and gathering information about political figures.

The report included an image of Gadot from 2011’s “Fast Five” movie, and the report allegedly claimed the photo of her had “circulated” on social media, and hours before the report was published, the image had been shared online with some claiming that Gadot was Vianfi, who was reportedly meant to visit Itani in Beirut this week, before canceling the trip after his arrest.

But Al Liwaa never claimed that Gal Gadot was an Israeli agent or that her alter ego is someone called Collette Vianfi. Rather, it accidentally used a picture of Gadot to illustrate a story covering purported Israeli agent Vianfi. As The Arab News reports ("Wonder blunder sees Israeli actress Gal Gadot 'revealed' as Mossad agent"):

Israeli ‘Wonder Woman’ star Gal Gadot was pictured as a Mossad agent on the front page of a Lebanese newspaper yesterday.

Beirut-based Al Liwaa newspaper used a picture of the actress to illustrate a story about Colette Vianfi, an alleged Israeli Mossad officer accused of recruiting Lebanese comedian and playwright Ziad Itani as a spy.

A senior newspaper executive described the incident as “embarrassing” in a telephone interview with Arab News.

Tareq Damlaj, one of the managing editors at the newspaper, said: “People were spreading the photo of actress Gal Gadot on social media, especially through WhatsApp, believing it was a photo of the Israeli officer.

“But after receiving a phone call today from cinema enthusiasts, and not security services, we learned this was the photo of an Israeli actress.”

A screen shot from Lebanon's Al Liwaa, which had erroneously used Gal Gadot's photograph to illustrate a story on alleged Mossad agent Collette Vianfi. Al Liwaa apologized.
 
Furthermore, an editor's note yesterday on the very Times of Israel story to which Dubois linked spelled out that the Lebanese paper didn't accuse Gadot of being a spy, but rather misused her photograph ("Lebanese paper uses photo of Gal Gadot for tale of 'Mossad agent,' apologizes"):
This story has been updated to clarify that the Lebanese daily did not name Gal Gadot but mistakenly used her photo with a caption naming a purported Mossad agent.

Following communication from CAMERA's Israel office, The International Business Times commendably amended both the headline and the article to reflect the fact that the Lebanese paper had apologized, and had mistakenly used Gal Gadot's photograph (but had not said that the actress was a spy). The accurate headline now states: "Lebanese Newspaper Apologizes For Using Gal Gadot Photo In Story About Mossad Agent." 
 

The corrected and updated article now states:

However, at least the way a Lebanese newspaper portrayed her, Israeli actress Gal Gadot has another secret identity—as a Mossad agent.

The paper later apologized for misusing the photo and the implication that Gadot is an Israeli agent.

The paper, a daily known as Al Liwaa, published an image of Gadot on their front page Monday in a report (via The Times of Israel) about Collette Vianfi, an agent from Israel’s international spy agency who was allegedly recruited to work with Lebanese actor and playwright Ziad Itani, who was arrested on Friday on charges of “collaborating” with Israel and gathering information about political figures.

In addition, editors placed the following note at the top of the article alerting readers to the changes:
This story has been updated to reflect that Al Liwaa apologized for using Gal Gadot’s photo to illustrate a story about an alleged Mossad agent. 

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