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Is CBS Guilty of Making Fake News?

A line full of fake patients pretend to get tested for Coronavirus.

By:  |  May 18, 2020  |    374 Words

(Photo by George Rose/Getty Images)

According to Project Veritas, CBS had employees of Cherry Health – Heart of the City Health Center in Grand Rapids, MI line up in their cars to pretend to be patients waiting for Coronavirus testing. The news crews were there to show the public how the hospital was helping people get tested, but there were only one or two people actually waiting on tests. Instead of just filming the truth, they staged a scene that was more interesting for viewers. Was this fake news? Adding props to make a picture or video more attractive is one thing, but what happens when the media adds people as fake patients waiting to get tested for the Coronavirus?

The clip of a convoy of vehicles driving up and waiting to be tested was aired on CBS This Morning with co-host Gayle King, but the clinic staff was not notified they were to participate until the news crew arrived. The informant took hidden videos while he questioned his co-workers regarding their thoughts about the added human props. Alison Mauro-Lantz, an infectious disease educator, told the anonymous male that they “pretended” to perform tests on the people lined up in their vehicles. “There were a couple of real patients, which made it worse,” she added.

For the one or two legitimate patients, their drive-through testing was delayed as all the “props” had to be arranged for the perfect angle and imagery. The informant said it was a beneficial tactic for both the facility and CBS. Cherry Health is a non-profit organization that relies heavily on donations. Just recently, they had to lay off 25% of its employees, so looking busy and productive would be a boon. For CBS, it holds more audience appeal and helps “show that this is a big deal.”

This could be nothing more than a simple mistake on the news station’s part, but in this day and age of fake news and pushing the narrative, the “information specialists” really need to be careful how they report. While artistically speaking, a line of people waiting to get tested for the Coronavirus is more impressive than the one or two actual patients, overinflating the situation only adds to the mistrust of media by the people.

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