|Don't Shoot the Messenger|
(10/5/2001) As misdirected outrage continues to grow unabated in the shadow of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on America, it was only a matter of time before people began shooting the messengers.
The footage in question was shot by Reuters news services and provided to CNN and other subscribers to the Reuters video news service. In a statement on their website at the time, Reuters denied the allegations in the above letter and later allegations that the photographer actually instigated the events he photographed. They also share a statement from the Universidad Estatal de Campinas - Brazil, the source of the information above, that includes a retraction by the student who first made the allegation.
As for the use of stock footage to illustrate current events, it's not as uncommon as you might think. Again, Snopes point out that this is most frequently done when getting footage of the current event is either difficult or dangerous. However, neither is the case with the CNN footage.
This is far from the scandal or 'propaganda' this e-mail makes it out to be. In the wake of terrible tragedy, we subconsciously want there to be an accessible "bad guy" that we can put a face on and direct our anger to. The old adage "don't shoot the messenger" springs from this tendency to punish the deliverer of bad news when the real target of our anger is unattainable. Unfortunately, this is far from what the country (and the world) needs right now. We must stand united and can't afford to show the world the image of scared people fighting among themselves. Break this Chain!