If you were having one of those weirdly optimistic days where you thought you could trust the mainstream media again (it’s OK, I have them too), well, let me burst your bubble: ABC News was just caught doctoring a shot in one of the most egregious ways possible.
According to CNN, the shot took place down in Woodruff, South Carolina, where a 30-year-old woman had been rescued from a storage container after having gone missing in August with her boyfriend. Her alleged kidnapper was a registered sex offender.
Those who tuned into ABC News reporter Linsey Davis’ piece on the kidnapping for “Good Morning America” would have seen the reporter standing in front of crime scene tape, describing the stomach-churning tale. Davis even publicized the video by putting it on her Twitter account.
That video has since been taken down, and for one very important reason: this photograph.
That is, in fact, crime scene tape tied between ABC’s camera tripod on one end and lighting tripod on the other. Whoops.
“This action is completely unacceptable and fails to meet the standards of ABC News,” Julie Townsend, vice president of communications at ABC News, told reporters. “As soon as it was brought to our attention, we decided to take the producer out of the field, and we’re investigating further.”
ABC’s been caught in a stunt like this before, too. In April, a piece on America’s most exclusive restaurant featured a shot of a fake reservations list. Producer David Fazakas says that the chef “wouldn’t let us see his actual list, so I wrote it myself — like a reenactment in a documentary.”
No word yet on whether this incident will be considered a “like a reenactment in a documentary.”
No word from Davis on her Twitter account about the story, although her original tweet is still up … with a now non-functioning video link.
Go ahead, click it and see:
— Linsey Davis (@LinseyDavis) November 4, 2016
It doesn’t look like that image is going to go away from viewers’ minds anytime soon. For many, it’s emblematic about all their suspicions regarding media bias. As pioneering media theorist Marshall McLuhan once said, “All media work us over completely.”
This picture certainly proves McLuhan may have been more right than even he knew.
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