ABC anchor Diane Sawyer’s mistaken report of footage of the bomb-ravaged Gaza Strip as being in Israel has generated a flurry of Twitterverse mockery.
Sawyer made the slip during the station’s coverage of Operation Protective Edge on Wednesday. Over transposed images of buildings reduced to rubble by Israeli airstrikes in the Strip, Sawyer said: “Here an Israeli family trying to salvage what they can,” and “One woman standing speechless among the ruins.”
ABC later apologized for the mistake. But it couldn’t stop Twitter users from mocking Sawyer’s slip under the hashtag #TweetLikeABC.
One user, Amoola, tweeted a still from the 2005 Steven Spielberg science fiction thriller War of the Worlds in which aliens riding tripod-shaped war machines ravage a city, adding the caption, “#TweetLikeABC Reporting live from Israel.”
— Amoola (@amaal_dani) July 10, 2014
A different disaster thriller about an alien invasion, Independence Day, served as the inspiration for another spoof, this time showing alien spacecraft attacking an airfield with the caption, Hamas hits Israeli airfield! Exclusive from @ABC. #tweetlikeabc.”
— Arun Gupta (@arunindy) July 10, 2014
Another user, Scott Horton, tweeted a photo taken from a NASA satellite of Typhoon Neoguri approaching Japan, with the caption, “Japan attacks Pacific Ocean #TweetLikeABC.”
— Scott Horton (@scotthortonshow) July 10, 2014
Sawyer wasn’t the only news person to have run into difficulties reporting the conflict. A CNN reporter who was trying to give a live shot Thursday with an Iron Dome battery in background was cut short by a rather terse Israeli soldier who insisted she couldn’t film the anti-missile launcher. The reporter tried gamely to finish her report but the soldier’s strategically deployed shoulder blocked the camera view.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge two days earlier in an effort to stem Hamas rocket attacks on southern towns and cities. Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired over 500 rockets at Israel, with some reaching as far north as the outskirts of Haifa, 160 kilometers away. In response, Israeli Air Force jets have struck over 1,000 terror targets in Gaza.
Stuart Winer contributed to this report.