CAMERA is frequently questioned about the veracity of urban legends circulating on the internet and elsewhere. The following is an example of one of the many rumors that have surfaced since September 11, 2001. For more on urban myths, check out www.snopes.com.
CNN’s footage of Palestinians celebrating the 9/11 attacks were actually 10-year-old images from the Persian Gulf War.
AS SEEN ON THE INTERNET NOVEMBER, 2001:
All around the world we are subjected to 3 or 4 huge news distributors, and one of them —as you well know — is CNN. Very well, I guess all of you have been seeing (just as I’ve been) images from this company. In particular, one set of images called my attenton: the Palestinians celebrating the bombing, out on the streets, eating some cake and making funny faces for the camera. Well, THOSE IMAGES WERE SHOT BACK IN 1991!!! Those are images of Palestinians celebrating the invasion of Kuwait! It’s simply unacceptable that a super-power of cumminications as CNN uses images which do not correspond to the reality in talking about so serious an issue. A teacher of mine, here in Brazil, has videotapes recorded in 1991, with the very sameimages; he’s been sending emails to CNN, Globo (the major TV network in Brazil) and newspapers, denouncing what I myself classify as a crime against the public opinion. If anyone of you has access to this kind of files, serzch for it. In the meanwhile, I’ll try to ‘put my hands’ on a copy of this tape.
But now, think for a moment about the impact of such images. Your people is hurt, emotionally fragile, and this kind broadcast have very high possibility of causing waves of anger and rage against Palestinians. It’s simply irresponsible to show images such as those. Finally, I’d like to say that we all regret and condemn all that has happened in the last days; but Nikos has a point here. I really don’t want to be misunderstood here, but the truth is that US government had shown no respect for other countries in the last decades. In the 60s and 70s they had halped lots of military coups throughout the world (including Brazil in 64). Later, with Reagan and Bush Father, the Washington Consensus have been demolishing the bases of our economies, making us more and more dependant (and, many of us, prehocupied with this situation).
Your current president quickly made things worse: Kioto Protocol, Star Wars, Colombia Plan, the exchange of rain forest for pieces of external debt, the abandonment of the position of third party in negotiations between IRA and England, and between Palestinians and Israel. All those mistakes in US external politics made your country more hatred than before, and, of course, more vulnerable.
This e-mail originated from a Brazilian graduate student named Marcio A.V. Carvalho. He was not able to provide any proof for his claim, and retracted it just a day after his original email was disseminated, according to American Journalism Review (“Anatomy of an Urban Legend,” Nov. 2001). The clip of Palestinians celebrating was filmed Sept. 11, 2001 by a Reuters crew in East Jerusalem.