Set-ups and staged news in the reports of the major press agencies

This fully proves that the accuracy and precision of information are utopian in contemporary mass-media

 By Mihaela Gheorghiu

 “If you don’t read the newspapers, you are not informed;
if you read them you are misinformed.”
–Mark Twain

The words that Mark Twain said 200 years ago prove that even at that time the written press was misinforming. Unfortunately, this warning still applies. Nowadays, even the images or video recordings, which should have assured an increased accuracy in presenting events, is misleading. We present you a few eloquent examples in which it is obvious that set-ups and fakes were used as “real” images only to create sensational news and to generate certain effects upon the public opinion – with impact at the social and political levels.

You must certainly remember the movie called “The Set-up”, in which Robert de Niro was playing the role of a director hired to “create” through mass-media a war in


. And this was being done only to mask a ridiculous political scandal. An entire team is mobilizing huge resources in order to set this up, and the mass-media is clearly the instrument through which the public opinion is manipulated. In the press campaign, wonderfully presented in this movie, the scene in which a little girl holding a cat (see picture) runs towards the camera, terrified, while behind her a bomb destroys her house, is the most touching one and it bring tears in the eyes of the audience watching the broadcasted war. How was this touching scene made? By filming the little girl on a black background, holding a bag of chips, for a commercial, and then generously using the computer in order to generate the other elements. The moment when the director talks with the team about which animal should the little girl hold and what color should the animal’s fur be, for the scene to have an impact on most categories of viewers, is memorable. The experts in the movie decide that the girl should carry a cat and she should run over a bridge in flames, especially to touch certain sensitive points in the audience. Another example is the moment when it is chosen the green color for the stripes of the soldiers – instead of yellow – because in the previous year the green coloured cars were the best to sell and this means people like green. What will follow in this article is strikingly similar to the scenes in the movie “The Set-up”. The misleading is real and it belongs to some big names in the mass media.

The image below belongs to the Reuters press agency and it was taken after an attack on Beirut. What is impressive in this picture is the thick smoke which covers the city. The effect would have been the one expected if Reuters had not exaggerated with the “special effects”. In the image it is very obvious a pattern that repeats itself several times, as if somebody had played with the “smoke” and had multiplied it with software for image procession. Being contacted to explain, the representatives of the famous press agency do not deny the intervention: “The one who processed the picture wanted to correct some traces of dust and made some mistakes because the light was not so good”.

New York Times Magazine published a series of photos after the bombing in Lebanon. In several photos we see a man wearing a green hat who is eagerly helping to search for the victims under the rubble. In another image from this footage we see the same guy presented as a victim of the bombing, found unconscious under the rubble! Before “falling” under the wires which pass above him, he had time to put his green hat under his arm. It is obvious that the reporters of the well-known magazine had actually staged the scene of this footage. The guys from New York Times should know that, with or without a hat, it is still necessary to hire at least 2 actors: one to play the victim and one to play the rescuer.


July 22nd 2006

, Reuter’s agency publishes a report about a Lebanese woman who remained without the house after the bombing in July. The same woman, dressed identically, having the same distinctive facial signs, appears also on August the 5th at Associated Press, talking about her misfortune: her house had just been destroyed by


bombing on August. It seems that the agencies do not miss only the actors. They also miss communication, not to mention lack of funds for costumes and make up.

Exactly like in the movie “The Set-up”, placing some objects with a strong emotional charge for the viewers in visible places gives the news an even stronger impact. We can imagine what fiery discussions must have taken place in Reuters in order to prove that a Teddy Bear sells better then a little rabbit or that Mickey Mouse is more loved then Donald the Duck. After winning the 1st place in the debate, the respective toys were placed strategically in the foreground of the images presenting buildings destroyed by bombs. The only thing is that they are the only objects that have not been covered by dust after the disaster and they look brand new. Probably they are very important props, since they are preserved so carefully.

And now, imagine that you are part of the Reuters team, deciding how the pictures should be made in order to have a maximum effect on the public. What element of impact would you use in a piece of news about the disaster caused by the bombing in the Caana city, known to the Christians as the place where Jesus participated in a wedding? You have 3 seconds to decide! Obviously, a wedding dress would be mostly suited, placed in the middle of a ruined street, in the spot famous because of that historical wedding…

The cover of the US News magazine wants to convince us that the disasters in


are on a large scale. They had seen how much smoke their colleagues at Reuters can make with the help of the computer and they do not want to be anything less. But they learned that it does not work with copy-paste, the fake is too obvious. According to the magazine, the image in the background represents “the burning rubble of a crashed plane”. Taking a closer look at the image, we notice with surprise that in reality what is burning so dramatically is a pile of tires. Maybe US News also does not have the budget to send its photographers to


, which is why it prefers to send them to the outskirts of the city to photograph the rubbish!

Indeed, the mass-media misinforms to such an extent that sometimes you may wonder if you are dealing with a fiction movie. By now the freemasonry which controls and uses the mass-media has created all the ways necessary to lie to our faces without a problem. World wide press agencies select the information and then decide the form in which it will reaches the masses. The TV networks, radios and written press controlled by the business environment take and then spread the misinformation. And they will continue to do this as long as they will be allowed, because the viewing public accepts its passive role, and has less and less inclination, time and means to check if the information it is bombarded with from all directions is according to reality.

06 november 2006

Also available in: Română

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