News & Politics

CBS Blames 'Editing Mistake' for Italian Hospital Footage in Report on NYC Hospital Conditions

Screenshot via Twitter

CBS News was caught using Italian footage showing a full ICU with doctors tending to victims of the Chinese virus, COVID-19, when reporting on the conditions in New York hospitals.

This video shows both the Sky News Italian report and the CBS report back to back for comparison.

The footage has angered viewers in the U.S., who are counting on news agencies to bring them accurate reporting on the actual situation on the ground. Many feel that the inclusion of Italian footage is designed to create more panic about the state of New York hospitals, which, according to Governor Cuomo, are not overwhelmed yet and have the supplies and ventilators they need.

A CBS spokesperson told The Daily Caller, “It was an editing mistake. We took immediate steps to remove it from all platforms and shows.” However, the footage is still being used on this report on YouTube on the CBS New York channel.

Here’s a screengrab of the footage at the 2:11 mark, taken at 3:54 p.m. on Monday.

Screenshot via YouTube

The media seems to be on a mission to make everyone believe the U.S. coronavirus problem as bad or worse than Italy’s, even though the conditions that overwhelmed Italy’s medical system have not materialized here. If CBS needed B-roll footage of New York hospital chaos, why didn’t they go film some in NY hospitals? Maybe it’s because the chaos they want isn’t happening. New York officials have said repeatedly that hospitals are doing well, with just over 1,500 people in ICUs across the state. The numbers of critically ill patients haven’t come close to “overwhelming” the system. That may happen if the situation worsens, but it has not happened to date, and with the construction of field hospitals all around NYC, it is unlikely to anytime soon. But CBS seems to want to portray a different story than the facts on the ground.

This isn’t the first time mainstream press has been caught airing misleading footage. There are several notable instances of media exaggerating their stories with explosive footage, like the time ABC aired scenes from a Kentucky gun show and claimed it was an attack in Syria. Why do they continue to do this when they keep getting caught? If the media wants to know why trust in the news is at an all-time low, they need to look no further than these examples.

Megan Fox is the author of “Believe Evidence; The Death of Due Process from Salome to #MeToo,” and host of The Fringe podcast. Follow on Twitter @MeganFoxWriter