Sometimes in the course of reporting on a story, a journalist makes an error in judgment, accidentally walks into a trip wire and sets off a signal flare (so to speak) alerting viewers that his version of events is unreliable. In his reporting on the Ukraine crisis, RT’s Graham Phillips has done just that: literally walking into a trip wire and accidentally setting off a signal flare, then posting video of this online and falsely claiming that he had been fired upon by Ukrainian troops.
His employers at RT, facing the fact that even their most credulous viewers would notice the discrepancy between the video and Graham Phillips’ report about it, posted his video on their website with text that tells another version. They have attempted to explain the difference between their reporting about this video and that of their reporter, claiming that troops shot at him either off camera or at some unspecified other time. Odd, considering that Phillips continues to falsely report that there was no trip wire, no signal flare, and that the video shows the purported shooting: “I understand RT’s position, under pressure, but I stick by everything I said, 100%.”
Suffice it to say that Graham Phillips sees his job as making the fog of war a bit foggier, and that habit can be very tough to break. Thankfully, the signal flares he accidentally sets off are clearly visible in spite of his best efforts.
RT’s report of this, defending Phillips with a story he admits is false, is online here. It includes the video of Phillips setting off a signal that RT viewers should pay attention to. I wonder if they will.
The Interpreter may have broken this aspect of the story, as we were covering it both before and after RT retracted their coverage on Friday. In this picture from our coverage you can actually see the tripwire in Graham’s video: