ABC News apologizes for saying footage from Kentucky gun range was Syria bombing

Wojceich Pawelczyk helped show video used by ABC News depicting bombing in Syria was actually from a Kentucky gun range.
Wojceich Pawelczyk helped show video used by ABC News depicting bombing in Syria was actually from a Kentucky gun range. Wojceich Pawelczyk

ABC News has apologized after it showed footage of a Kentucky firing range’s pyrotechnic machine gun shoot and called it video of bombing in northern Syria.

The network framed the video as a battle between the Syrian Kurds and Turkish forces, but internet sleuths quickly found it was from Knob Creek Gun Range in West Point. The gun range video was posted about three years ago.

“This video right here appearing to show Turkey’s military bombing Kurds civilians in a Syrian border town,” said the ABC News anchor, while the Kentucky gun shoot was shown.

Knob Creek Gun Range appears to have benefited from the mistake, which got further attention when Wojciech Pawelczyk, who calls himself a video researcher and President Donald Trump supporter, posted the ABC news video and said, “ABC News is trying to pass gun range videos as combat footage from Syria.”

Pawelczyk’s tweet has more than 22,000 retweets since Monday morning.

An 8-minute long video of the Knob Creek Machine Gun Night Shoot from 2016 has 36,000 views and dozens of people joking in the comments about ABC News’ gaffe. The video shows spectators in the bottom of the frames as they recorded the event that allows participants to fire machine guns at a wide variety of pyrotechnic charges painted orange so the shooters can see them, according to the firing range.

“The charges are set off by the impact of the bullets, creating large mushroom clouds and fireballs from hell,” the range said.

ABC News issued an apology Monday morning. The network did not say why footage from the Kentucky gun range was used instead of Syria bombing images.

“CORRECTION: We’ve taken down video that aired on “World News Tonight” Sunday and “Good Morning America” this morning that appeared to be from the Syrian border immediately after questions were raised about its accuracy. ABC News regrets the error,” the tweet said.

President Donald Trump, who last week decided to pull U.S. troops from Syria, tweeted Monday night about ABC News using the wrong video.

“A big scandal at @ABC News,” Trump said on Twitter. “They got caught using really gruesome FAKE footage of the Turks bombing in Syria. A real disgrace. Tomorrow they will ask softball questions to Sleepy Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, like why did Ukraine & China pay you millions when you knew nothing? Payoff?”

Trump continued to lash out Wednesday during a press briefing, telling an ABC News reporter that “you shouldn’t be showing buildings blowing up in Kentucky and saying it’s Syria.”

But the Bullitt County gun range doesn’t mind the extra publicity. It thanked ABC News for the free advertising and plugged the dates for their next gun shoot.

“Keep up the good work ABC News!! And a big thanks to our patrons and spectators for taking notice and notifying us of their BIG ‘mistake,’” Knob Creek Gun Range wrote in a post on Facebook that has more than 5,000 shares. “Our next show dates” are April 3-4, 2020 & Oct. 9-10, 2020.