Why You Should Take News Stories With a Grain of Salt

I saw a news story on New Zealand national news the other week about an incident involving a British comedian interviewing a supposed ‘terrorist’ for a new film called Bruno. The gist was that comedian Sacha Baron Cohen (of Ali G fame), playing the part of Bruno, a gay Austrian fashion presenter, was interviewing a supposed leader of a supposedly active terrorist group, al-Aqsa. The ‘leader’ of al-Aqsa however is a local business man, and the ‘active’ terorist group named al-Aqsa was disbanded years ago; the local man, Palestinian man Ayman Abu Aita, has never had anything to do with the now defunct terrorist group.

You can see the TV3 News story here: Controversial Cohen Targeted by Terrorist Group

Apart from the fact that Sacha Baron Cohen has manipulated the trust of Abu Aita, I am dismayed at how Channel 3 News in New Zealand could be so incredibly lax in their fact-finding. Their report about the interview stated that Cohen has now beefed up his personal security because the terrorist group has been sending threats to him. Where does 3 News get this information from? How can a defunct terrorist group send threats? As you can see in the following video clip, the interview footage has been purposefully edited to create a different story to what actually happened.

Sky News Story (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZheYqoKtt60)

Of course, I should not rule out that this could just be all an elaborate haox, and perhaps Sky News are the ones being taken for a ride. Perhaps Ayman Abu Aita is in cohoots with Cohen and him sueing Cohen is just all part of the deal…

Which is why, we should all take news stories with a grain of salt.

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5 thoughts on “Why You Should Take News Stories With a Grain of Salt

  • Keith Winnersh

    Hi Rob,

    My day job requires me to screen orders (financial transactions) for entities on various government black lists. You know…. so that we don't trade with drug lords, terrorists, or people who proliferate weapons of mass destruction (OOOOOO SCARY! LET'S INVADE IRAQ!).

    Your man mentioned in the interview is not included in any of those lists available today.

  • John / Apathy

    Hey Rob the actor that play's in that movie Bruno/Borat is hillarious. still havent seen Bruno yet. My father is takeing a business trip to kazasthan for a month to teach pilot's how to fly or something like that. I'm extremly jealous because for the last few years i've been so fascinated with that country but have never met anybody that is from there or know's anything about there culture's. You sure are lucky. What was you'r personal opinion on that country. Oh and as far as omar that is skateing from Memphis to San Diego you responded to my comment about Iran, I hope I was'nt being a stero type myself I was just trying use them as a example. I've had a lot of friends that are military and traveled to some of the middle eastern country's and theve all said that this whole war thing is crap. Alot of those people are just ordinary goat farmers and really friendly. It's the extremest in religion's that leave a bad name just with any culture. anyways take care rob. respectfully, john

  • Rob Thomson Post author

    Hi John, yeah no worries. Just wanted to make sure the Iranians were not getting the short end of the stick 🙂

    It is true that it is only the extremists in a culture or religion that tend to taint the whole lot with a bad brush.

    Kazakhstan was awesome. The most generous people out of all the people I met on my travels. Actually, I would say that the Kazakhs and the Americans were about equal on the generosity scale. There are a lot of awesome people in the world – I have a lot to learn from them.

    Yeah Sacha Baron Cohen is hilarious in Ali G and to an extent is really funny in Borat also. He is very good at revealing social stereotypes and shows how insular and ignorant many of us are in the West. Sometimes I think he goes a little too far though and ends up offending people.

    I hope you enjoy the site!


  • John / Apathy

    oh i love you'r site rob. i go to it and omar's everyday to see whats new. with you'r permission i mentioned you'r site on my myspace page, if not i'll delete it. http://www.myspace.com/exordiumdeath it's in the who i'd like to meet section and hero's. I really do love you'r site i tell everybody about it. i really wish i would have known what you were doing when you went threw texas, i probably would have came to meet you and skate a day with ya. but maybe oneday i'll get that privlage. anyways rob you take it easy, oh and i almost forgot congrat's on the engagement.