Barb Weir apologizes to Diane Sawyer
By Barb Weir
Diane Sawyer, Anchorwoman
ABC World News
I confess that I am the source of the problems on your Wednesday, July 9, 2014, ABC World News show. Here’s what happened.
I was visiting my friend, Faye Kenooz who is one of the junior editors for your show. She was editing the segment and asked my advice.
“What are you looking for?” I asked.
“I’ve been told to come up with footage that shows how desperate the Israeli plight is with all the rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip,” replied Faye, “and I’ve got only ten minutes to come up with it and the script, too.”
“So what footage did you find so far?”
“I have a shot of a baby crying when it was woken up by the sirens.”
“That’s not much. They aren’t even Hamas sirens.”
“That’s what I thought, too, so I found a shot of an old lady in a wheelchair being wheeled into a bomb shelter, but I’m not sure it comes across as desperation.”
“Don’t you have something that shows blood, pain, death and massive destruction? That’s what they want.”
“You don’t understand, Barb. There haven’t been any casualties. Not even wounded, and very little damage. And now I have only five minutes before showtime!”
“Actually, that’s not true. There have been plenty of casualties and destruction if we just tweak things a little. Let me handle it. They will see some horrific scenes and all I have to do is change one word in the text. Is it OK to stretch the truth a little?”
“Of course, Barb. We do it all the time, if it’s what we want the viewers to see and hear. Please go ahead and fix it.”
So that’s how I came to show the Palestinian death and destruction in Gaza and the desperate Palestinian family. It was exactly what you were looking for and all I did was change the word “Palestinian” to “Israeli” in the script.
I’m really sorry if it caused you some trouble. I guess I should have left it as “Palestinian”, but I had no idea that you would want it broadcast that way. Really, Diane, I honestly had no idea that you were so scrupulous about broadcasting the truth.