December 3, 2023
CBS Boss Touts Crackdown on Fake Info, But CBS Elevated Hamas Faker

CBS Boss Touts Crackdown on Fake Info, But CBS Elevated Hamas Faker During an appearance at the Global Women’s Summit put on by The Washington Post on Tuesday, CBS News president Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews boasted about her organization’s new fact-checking unit “CBS News Confirmed” which was allegedly supposed to be able to identify and call out images and video that were meant to misinform the public. But as NewsBusters reported just last week, CBS Evening News promoted a video out of Gaza created by a known Hamas-linked propagandist and alleged crisis actor.

Moderator and Washington Post executive editor Sally Buzbee teed up Ciprian-Matthews to hype her new unit by invoking “the scourge of disinformation” and how CBS was going to be “hiring forensic journalists and people who had data visualization skills, other things like that.”

Ciprian-Matthews agreed with the analogy that what they were putting together was a “forensics team” that would be “attacking” “the uptick in deep fakes and misinformation and disinformation, you know, we are flooded with video that we really have to decipher whether it is real or imagined or intentionally edited to appear to be something that it is not.”

She added that CBS would be “Hiring a team of journalists that will include visualization journalism, data journalism, expertise in A.I. technology to help us be able to fact-check the video, the content that’s coming in, but also train other journalists within the organization to be able to do so as well.”

But as NewsBusters reported, CBS was the most brazen evening newscast last Friday in flaunting a video from Saleh Aljafarawi, a known Hamas-linked social media influencer and alleged crisis actor, who was dubbed “Mr. FAFO” and “Mr. Pallywood” online.

CBS correspondent Debora Patta used the part of the video that featured Aljafarawi screaming with his hand covered in a red substance. “Reeling in stunned disbelief, this man shouts, ‘They bombed the hospitals,'” she breathlessly translated for him. “Nearby, a young girl breaks down hysterically, ‘my mom, my father, my brother.’”

Aljafarawi posts his propaganda videos to his Instagram account which has over three million followers. He’s pretended to be a Hamas fighter in a music video, a radiology tech in a hospital, a foster father, a member of the press, and a rescue worker, among other roles. He even put out a video of himself praising Hamas rockets that were launched at Israeli civilians.

If CBS couldn’t spot what everyone else was able to, then maybe they really were in desperate need of a unit to tell them the obvious. Or maybe they just didn’t care about spreading Hamas propaganda.

The transcript is below. Click “expand” to read:

Washington Post Live’s Global Women’s Summit
November 14, 2023
3:06:44 p.m. Eastern

(…)

SALLY BUZBEE (executive editor, The Washington Post): So, this is one of the – I wanted to touch briefly on the scourge of disinformation, one of the main challenges facing journalism today. And I think this flows immediately. I was super interested Ingrid to see that you guys are starting a fact-checking unit and the information that I read talked about hiring forensic journalists and people who had data visualization skills, other things like that.

Can you talk to use? What does that mean, right? Who are you looking for? What sort of skill sets?

INGRID CIPRIAN-MATTHEWS (president, CBS News): I think you described it appropriately. Think about a forensics team. Right?

BUZBEE: Right.

CIPRIAN-MATTHEWS: Because the need is there now with the uptick in deep fakes and misinformation and disinformation, you know, we are flooded with video that we really have to decipher whether it is real or imagined or intentionally edited to appear to be something that it is not.

So, CBS News Confirmed is our way of attacking this, if you will.

BUZBEE: Right.

CIPRIAN-MATTHEWS: Hiring a team of journalists that will include visualization journalism, data journalism, expertise in A.I. technology to help us be able to fact-check the video, the content that’s coming in, but also train other journalists within the organization to be able to do so as well.

BUZBEE: That’s fascinating. I think many people don’t think of journalism as having that sort of skills. We think about people putting microphones in front of, being able to get information from documents. But this whole sort of idea which is really emerging in our industry. I was really fascinated by that.

(…)