For the second time in two weeks, NBC News has publicly apologized for including inaccurate footage in a broadcast report.
News anchorman Tom Brokaw said on yesterday’s “NBC Nightly News” that errors in a report on federal forest management in Idaho’s Clearwater National Forest were inadvertent.
“We regret the inappropriate video to illustrate what was otherwise an accurate report,” Brokaw said. The segment aired Jan. 4 on the “Nightly News.”
On Feb. 9, the network apologized for rigging a General Motors pickup truck with incendiary devices for a “Dateline NBC” report on the alleged dangers of the vehicle’s gas tanks.
NBC’s correction yesterday came hours after U.S. Sen. Larry Craig of Idaho blasted the network on the Senate floor, contending the network “twisted reality and sensationalized an issue.”
“We’re happy. We feel we slayed a dragon here,” Craig aide David Fish said after Brokaw’s statement.
Brokaw admitted that inaccurate footage was used in two instances in the report on Forest Service employees who contend timber was overcut in the Clearwater forest, causing fouled streams and endangering fish.
“At one brief point, we inadvertently used footage of dead fish from another forest further south, not from Clearwater,” Brokaw said.
Other video showed workers conducting tests on water where fish appeared to be dead, he said.
“In fact, they were not. They had been stunned for testing purposes,” the anchorman said.
But Brokaw stood by footage that purported to show a large area of land clearcut of timber.
Craig said the land in the Olympic National Forest, hundreds of miles west of Clearwater, was burned in a fire.
“Our information remains that the video accurately portrayed clearcuts, although some portions may have been cut after a fire,” Brokaw said.
In his remarks, Craig contended the dead fish shown by NBC are not found anywhere in Idaho and have been identified by a Forest Service biologist as a species found in the South.