CBS’s Afghan War Footage Called a Fake

From Associated Press

The “CBS Evening News” broadcast fake combat footage and false news reports of the war in Afghanistan during the mid-1980s, it was reported today.

Most of the footage was shot by cameraman Mike Hoover, who allegedly staged scenes of guerrilla sabotage and made a Chinese-built Pakistani jet on a training run appear to be a Soviet plane bombing Afghan villages, according to the New York Post.

CBS was seriously concerned over the charges but was not sure how to investigate, the newspaper quoted CBS sources as saying. “It’s hard to question Afghan rebels,” one of the sources said.

During award-winning news broadcasts on Nov. 12 and 13, 1984, anchorman Dan Rather said Hoover had been on hand for “the largest sabotage operation of the war.” Videotape shot by Hoover showed Moujahedeen rebels purportedly blowing up pylons to cut power to Kabul.

The actual sabotage, however, took place 12 days before Hoover arrived on the scene, the newspaper said. Etabari, an Afghan serving as the cameraman’s translator, told the newspaper that Hoover persuaded guerrilla leaders to order about a dozen rebels to return to the site so he could stage the sabotage.


“He told the Moujahedeen to destroy pylons that were already destroyed. It was completely wrong. It was just for the movie,” Etabari was quoted as saying.