PBS postpones documentary aired on BBC Four over fake quote

Back in January the BBC Four TV channel aired a programme titled “‘Til Kingdom Come: Trump, Faith and Money” which it described as a “Documentary about the close ties between a group of pastors in Kentucky and Israel’s foremost philanthropic organisation that sheds light on US foreign policy in the Middle East during the Trump era”.

That programme is still available for view in the UK on BBC iPlayer and will be “for over a year”.

The same documentary was scheduled to be aired on the American station PBS in late March. However CAMERA researcher Dexter Van Zile noted that it “includes a fake quote attributed to former U.S. President Donald Trump”.

“The fake quote falsely suggests Trump supported the annexation of the entire West Bank into the state of Israel. To achieve this impression, the film splices words Trump said in the latter parts of a January 28, 2020 press conference into a statement he made at the beginning of the same press conference. […]

To obscure the alteration, the film shows Trump saying the first part of the quote, jumps away to show the audience reaction during the middle part of his statement, and then goes back to show Trump speaking the last section of the fabricated quote.

By using deceptive filmmaking techniques to lend an air of credibility to a fake quote, Zinshtein’s film has taken an expression of hope for Christians, Jews, and Muslims to be able to visit their holy sites in peace and turned it into fodder for a narrative that portrays American Christians supporting a unilateral, non-negotiated land grab in the West Bank.

This is an egregious distortion of the historical record.”

Following communication from CAMERA:

“…PBS notified our senior staff on March 26 that it will postpone PBS’s broadcast of “’Til Kingdom Come” while an independent review of the documentary is conducted. CAMERA commends PBS for taking seriously concerns about the film’s editorial integrity.”

Clearly it would be appropriate for the BBC to undertake a similar review of the programme it continues to promote to the British public on iPlayer.

Update:

Following a post from CAMERA’s Hebrew department Presspectiva, the Israeli national broadcaster Kan 11 – which screened the same film – has edited out the fake quote.   

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