It’s not just your imagination: left-leaning outlets seem to be exaggerating the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. On Saturday, CBS News appeared to run footage from an Italian hospital in a segment about an outbreak in Pennsylvania. This came exactly two weeks after CBS News ran the same footage in a segment about the outbreak in New York on March 25.
CBS News acknowledged the March 25 “mistake” in a statement to the Daily Caller on March 30. “It was an editing mistake. We took immediate steps to remove it from all platforms and shows,” a spokesperson told the Daily Caller. The network did not say whether or not it would issue an on-air correction or retraction.
On Saturday, the misleading footage appeared on CBSN, the network’s streaming video news channel.
“In Pennsylvania, cases are skyrocketing at the rate of 1,000 a day,” a reporter narrates as the notorious footage from the Italian hospital appears on-screen. “Governor Tom Wolf is appealing to citizens to help.”
After @CBSNews was called out for airing footage of a hospital in Italy and saying it was New York, they apologized and said it was an error.
Less than a week later, they aired the same footage, this time when talking about Pennsylvania.
— ALX 🇺🇸 (@alx) April 8, 2020
The misleading footage first appeared in a March 22 segment on Sky News discussing the outbreak in Italy. COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, spread quickly through northern Italy, overwhelming hospitals. While the pandemic is spreading rapidly in the U.S., it has not yet overwhelmed American hospitals to the same degree.
When talking about the Coronavirus outbreak in New York City, @CBSNews aired footage of a hospital in Italy.
Especially in times of a crisis where people are already in a panic, the Media needs to give accurate information.
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) March 30, 2020
Some Twitter users went through the footage from Sky News and CBS News, identifying key markers from the Italian hospital scene which exactly correspond with the footage CBS News ran.
#MSM at it again trying 2 cause #Panic lying & distorting reality- 2 hospital scenes: NY & Italy shown by #CBS & #SkyNews except ITS THE SAME FOOTAGE! #FakeNews is the #EnemyOfThePeople #Propaganda #CoronaHysteria #Coronavirustruth #Covid_19 #coronavirus #Corona #coronahoax #WHO pic.twitter.com/c4bEC2BWu8
— Cognitive Resonance (@Joefusko) March 30, 2020
If CBS News really “took immediate steps to remove [the clip] from all platforms and shows,” why did it emerge again on Saturday? Is it just me, or does this seem like something other than an “editing mistake”?
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.