If there were any lingering hopes that the corporate media learned from its role in perpetuating the lies that led to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and would never again help start a Middle East war on the basis of false or flimsy evidence, the headlines that blared across the front pages of major U.S. news websites Thursday night indicated that such hopes were badly misplaced.
The U.S. military late Thursday released blurry, black-and-white video footage that it claimed — without any underlying analysis or further details — to show an Iranian patrol boat removing an unexploded limpet mine from the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, one of the oil tankers damaged in attacks in the Gulf of Oman.
Here's how CNN presented the U.S. military's video: https://youtube.com/watch?v=WFcjzKAcC-c [Embed]
Iran has denied any involvement in the attacks, and Yutaka Katada — the owner of the Kokuka Courageous — contradicted the Trump administration's account during a press conference on Friday.
"Our crew said that the ship was attacked by a flying object," Katada said. "I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship."
Independent critics were quick to call for extreme skepticism in the face of U.S. government claims, given the quality of the "evidence" and the warmongering track records of those presenting it.
But the media displayed no such caution.
Just taking a random sample of screenshots after the news broke Thursday night, major outlets largely did the Pentagon's dirty work by posting uncritical headlines that took the claims at face value.
The Washington Post used the word "purported" in its headline, but erroneously reported that the video was taken "before" the explosion on the vessel, not after. The headline was later changed, but was made no more critical of the military's claim.
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