The blogosphere has been abuzz about a CNN video (see below) allegedly showing Gaza physicians vainly trying to revive a dying boy, filmed by his brother, Ashraf Mashharawi (who, as it turns out, owns a company that hosts Hamas websites). Sharp-eyed viewers noticed that the doctors were clearly play-acting, and CNN pulled the video with no explanation, though the network left a text story up.
What hasn't gotten attention is that the broader story told by the photographer to the CNN reporter is seemingly rather obviously false propaganda. From the video:
Reporter: "Mahmoud and his 14 year old cousin Ahmed were allowed to play on the roof.... Now they are both dead." Mashharawi: "The Israeli plane targeted them with a small rocket just for them, just for them, and killed both of them."So the allegation is that not only did an Israeli plane purposely target two children playing on a roof, but did so with a special, small rocket that it apparently reserves for killing children on roofs without creating any of the obvious signs of serious damage to the building that a missile would cause. Putting aside the issue of Israel targeting civilians, the idea that a plane came to the building with a special small missile just to kill these two boys seems rather implausible, to say the least. [UPDATE: Is it possible that the "plane," in theory, could have been a drone of the sort used in targeted assassinations? How much damage would a rocket launched from such a drone cause to a roof? OK, I'll reserve judgment on that, in case it's as implausible as I initially thought. FURTHER UPDATE: A reader writes: "As an introduction, I am an attack helicopter pilot with somewhere north of 400 combat missions in geographic areas very similar to Gaza. Your thoughts are correct. Events as described didn't happen as alleged. The link http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/missile/agm-114.htm has significant info regarding one of the smaller drone armed weapons, the AGM-114 Hellfire. I am very familiar with this weapon as this is the same missile with a different type of warhead that US Attack helicopters are armed with. Bottom line, 100lb missile moving at about 400 M/s is going to cause structural damage to the building even if it was one of the inert warhead types." See also this contribution to the comments. That seems to settle that.]
There are plenty of real human tragedies involving civilians in Gaza. It would do wonders for CNN's credibility if it acknowledged its mistake, took the text story down, and, unless all the indications of the falsity of the story turn out to have an innocent explanation, fire the reporter (Michael Holmes) who either fell for, or actively participated in, a fake one.