Fabricated audio added to CNN report on Israel-Hamas war

By: Ishita Goel
October 13 2023

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Fabricated audio added to CNN report on Israel-Hamas war

A Facebook/X post claiming that the attached video shows CNN staging a fake report on an attack in Israel. (Source: CNN/X/FacebookScreenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)


The Verdict False

The video has been edited to add a fake voiceover directing journalists to stage their coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

Claim ID 6f29b50b

What is the claim?
A video of CNN journalists reporting from ground on the Israel-Hamas conflict is going viral on social media with accounts alleging that the video shows the media outlet is “faking an attack from Hamas in Israel."

The video was shared on Facebook and X with the caption "CNN EXPOSED FOR FAKING AN ATTACK IN ISRAEL." The viral video shows a team of CNN reporters, including the network’s chief international correspondent Clarissa Ward running off a road to take cover in a wooded area, while rockets are fired. Audio playing in the clip  makes it appear the journalists are following orders from the network's control room, suggesting the report is fake. An individual not featured in the video can be heard instructing the team and guiding their movements. At one point, the man says, “Look round as if you’re in danger, try to look nice and scared”, at another, “can you boost the volume on those explosions, please?” "OK, Jerry, tell the cameraman to keep Clarissa in shot.”

Other posts, suggesting that the network faked their segment, can be seen archived here and here

Screenshot of viral posts making the claim that CNN reporters staged the footage. (Source: X/Facebook/Screenshot/Modified by Logically Facts)

However, this video has been edited and the voiceover digitally added. The original video, available on the CNN website, shows the correspondent describing the attack as it unfolds.

What is the truth?

We found that the footage seen in the viral clip originates from CNN’s live broadcast from October 9, as seen in an X post by the network. The video shows Ward and her team near the Israel-Gaza border, covering the ongoing conflict. The journalists can be seen ducking, swearing, and speaking to the studio about their situation.  "CNN team ducks from 'massive barrage of rockets' near Israel-Gaza border." This video does not have the voiceover heard in the viral version.

Similarly, we found a slightly longer version of this same video from the CNN live broadcast, which also shows the camera zooming into the smoke in the air, seen at the end of the viral video. This longer version was shared on X by American political journalist Brian Krassenstein, who praised the CNN team for their reporting. This version too did not have the voiceover. 

Further, we found a version of the video uploaded by CNN to their website on October 9, described as, "CNN's Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward and her team were forced to take shelter from rockets near the Israel-Gaza border." In this CNN video, which also does not feature any such voiceover, Ward explains why they had to take a cover, saying, "a massive barrage of rockets coming here not too far from us, So we have had to take shelter here by the roadside." She also points out that a number of jets can be overhead, as well as the Iron Dome intercepting several rockets, eventually getting up to show viewers elements of the destruction caused by the ongoing war.  

“The audio in the video posted and shared on X is fabricated, inaccurate, and irresponsibly distorts the reality of the moment that was covered live on CNN,” a spokesperson for the network told The New York Times. Logically Facts has also contacted CNN for a statement. This story will be updated if and when we receive a response.

The origin of the video
We noticed that the top-left corner of the viral video bears a logo that reads "The Quartering." Taking a cue from this, we found that this account, which identifies itself as a news and content organization, had posted the viral video on X on October 11. The account stated in the thread that the voiceover wasn’t real and had been added.

Screenshot of The Quartering’s post on X. (Source: X/Screenshot)

The YouTube page of The Quartering shows they have various reaction videos of the same kind.

The Israel-Hamas war
The Israel-Hamas conflict, which is in its seventh day, has left more than 1,300 Israelis dead and at least 3,000 wounded, while more than 1,500 Palestinians have been killed, Al Jazeera reported, quoting Gaza and Israel sources. Meanwhile, Israel on Friday ordered 1.1 million civilians in the Gaza Strip to relocate from the north to the south within 24 hours, The Associated Press reported.

The verdict
An edited video of a CNN report, to which a fake voiceover has been added, is being shared to claim they staged their segment on an attack near the Israel-Gaza border. However, from the sources above, it is clear that the original video did not carry this audio and that it has been digitally added to further this false claim.

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