If you’re on X (formerly known as Twitter) and follow the Israel-Hamas War, you’re likely aware of the man we’re about to speak of. Saleh Aljafarawi, dubbed “Mr. FAFO” and “Mr. Pallywood,” is a KNOWN Hamas-linked social media influencer and crisis actor. But those easily researchable facts were of no interest to ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News on Friday as they all, much like MSNBC did, treated his content as though it was a legitimate source of news from Gaza.
As NewsBusters previously reported, it’s easy to figure out who Aljafarawi was. He posts his propaganda videos to his Instagram account which has over three million followers. He’s pretended to be a Hamas fighter in a music video, a radiology tech in a hospital, a foster father, a member of the press, and a rescue worker, among other roles. He even put out a video of himself praising Hamas rockets that were launched at Israeli civilians.
In a video posted on Friday, Aljafarawi is seen purportedly at the al-Shifa hospital running around screaming with “blood” on his hand. Later in the video, he runs up to the little girl who’s also screaming and covered with “blood” as well. It was this video that the broadcast network promoted.
CBS was the most brazen in flaunting the video. Correspondent Debora Patta used the part of the video that featured Aljafarawi. “Reeling in stunned disbelief, this man shouts, ‘They bombed the hospitals,'” she breathlessly translated for him. “Nearby, a young girl breaks down hysterically, ‘my mom, my father, my brother.’”
“Their one place of refuse, now a blood-soaked battleground,” she lamented. Meanwhile, it was yet another Gaza-launched rocket that fell short.
Over on ABC and NBC, correspondents Matt Gutman and Keir Simmons (respectively) both used arguably deceptively edited versions of Aljafarawi’s video. They edited down the video to take him out of it completely and only used the portion with the little girl.
Aljafarawi was very much a highly recognizable figure that had emerged from the conflict, so it’s suspicious that they used the part he was not visible in.
It’s worth noting that none of the networks properly cited Aljafarawi as the source of the video. ABC and NBC had no citation whatsoever and CBS merely had “social media.”
This occurred the same week multiple major American news outlets were already under fire for relying on dubious and scandalous sources for their information about the war.