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article imageOp-Ed: Bolivian press should be ashamed over AF447 disaster reporting

By Michael Cosgrove     Jun 24, 2009 in World
The disgraceful screening of a video on a Bolivian TV channel, said to show the break-up of the doomed French airliner and its horrifying consequences as seen from inside the plane, has turned out to be a clip taken from a TV show.
The Bolivian television news channel Periodistas Asociados de Televisión (PAT,) screened images from the video, along with a newsreader’s voice which described what was said to be happening inside the plane as it broke up, with people apparently being sucked out of the sectioned plane and screaming as they fell away.
In a statement issued at the time, the “exclusive pictures” were said to have been recovered from a Casio Z750 found at the crash site.
It later transpired that the video was a cut from the TV series 'Lost.' The whole crash scene is not shown here.
The insensitivity and sensationalist aspects of this episode are surely going to lead to serious questions being asked about what may or may not be believed by those reading or watching the news.
Air France Flight AF447 went down early in the morning of June 1, in other words in pitch darkness, in what are generally accepted to have been turbulent wind conditions and what are known to have been thick cloud formations.
This has been known for three weeks.
But the video shows a plane breaking in two, at low altitude, in daylight, filmed by someone apparently cool, calm, and collected enough to record it all with a steady hand, with good quality lighting, in daylight and with excellent screaming sound quality, while half a plane goes down without being buffeted around, and, to top it all, he has the time to stop filming his fellow passengers, find an address to send the results to, wait for it all to be buffered and sent, before plunging into the sea to his death.
Not only did he manage this prowess, but he also managed to do it in a zone in the middle of the Atlantic where there is no transmission coverage.
Are we supposed to believe that the TV station was “Hoaxed” as it said it was?
Everyone and his dog knows that the plane went down at night. Everyone knows that this video is a fraud.
The Bolivian TV station may excuse itself by saying it was all a hoax, but this kind of reporting does not do anything to dissipate the general distrust that the public has for the press.
It is being said that the Bolivian press is not welcome right now in France.
I am not surprised.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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