Fake News: MSNBC's Military Expert Pretends Video Game Clip Is Ukraine Footage

By Emanuel Eisen | Thursday, 19 May 2022 23:45
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On Monday, retired four-star general and MSNBC “military analyst” Barry R. McCaffrey posted a clip of video game footage to Twitter. He insisted it was a display of strength from Ukraine’s air defense. It’s actually footage from a video game.

The clip in question came from YouTube’s “shorts” section and is called “Russian MiG-29’s Get Shot Down By Air Defense System | Arma 3 #Shorts #Airdefense #Arma3.”

ARMA 3 is an open-world military tactical shooter game for PC published in September 2013.

What’s captured on video is two in-game jets being shot down by an air defense system set up on the ground. McCaffrey’s tweet was deleted after Benny Johnson pointed out the glaring mistake. “Why is Left-Wing corporate media allowed to spread “misinformation” about a war while they advocate for Censorship of Conservatives and Fact Checking of Memes?” he went on.

“Russian aircraft getting nailed by UKR missile defense. Russians are losing large numbers of attack aircraft. UKR air defense becoming formidable,” McCaffrey had originally tweeted.

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The 79-year-old is a regular MSNBC commentator who goes on-air to talk about the ongoing war in Ukraine. He recently explained to the show’s hosts that Ukraine needs to “absorb new military technology” and called Russia’s attack a “strategic disaster.”

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General McCaffrey’s colleague on the Council on Foreign Relations, Max Boot, was seen retweeting the four-star general's misleading video.

“ANDREA MITCHELL. Wednesday 11 May 2022. UKR Military has to absorb new military technology and integrate these capabilities into their forces. It takes time, maintenance, new logistics. They are quick and well organized,” he wrote in a follow-up tweet.

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Monday’s gaffe is not the first time media pundits have mistaken video game footage as the real thing. At the onset of the war in late February, a tall tale arose claiming an ace fighter pilot called the “Ghost of Kyiv” was taking out Russian aircraft at an accelerated pace.

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Though as Kotaku discussed at the time, accompanying clips showcasing “Ghost of Kyiv” feats were actually from a “Digital Combat Simulator” video game released in 2013.

USA Today published a fact check disproving rumors that viral comedian star Sam Hyde was not the “Ghost of Kyiv.” Some people had claimed as much, and even Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois was briefly fooled.

“The #ghostofkyiv has a name, and he has absolutely OWNED the Russian Airforce. Godspeed and more kills, Samuyil! QT @RaulBrando: Ukrainian Ace-fighter Pilot known as the “Ghost of Kyiv,” real name is Samuyil Hyde, a 36-year-old who was identified… https://t.co/2xrhYMolN4),” the deleted tweet read.

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