During its initial coverage of Operation Swarmer -- a joint U.S.-Iraqi military operation that began March 16 -- Fox News aired video footage of the wreckage of the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
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During its initial coverage of Operation Swarmer -- a joint U.S.-Iraqi military operation that began March 16 -- Fox News aired video footage of the wreckage of New York's World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The footage aired during the 11 a.m. ET hour of the March 16 edition of Fox News Live.
During one segment, as anchor Brigitte Quinn interviewed correspondent David Piper regarding Operation Swarmer, Fox aired footage of the nighttime bombing of Baghdad during the initial days of the Iraq war in March 2003. A caption on the video footage identified the date of the film as March 21, 2003, and the location as "Baghdad." Later, Quinn interviewed retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney, asking him to comment on the difference between the tactics used in Operation Swarmer and the so-called "shock and awe" tactics employed during the early days of the war -- massive bombing designed to impel the surrender of Saddam Hussein's regime before the launch of any ground campaign.
Fox News aired the World Trade Center footage during Quinn's interview with McInerney. Neither Quinn nor anyone else actually referred to the footage, and an onscreen caption bore the date "March 21, 2003" -- the same date shown on the "shock and awe" footage of Baghdad aired earlier. But the World Trade Center footage clearly depicted the wreckage of a portion of the steel exterior of one of the center's twin skyscrapers, as well as onlookers at the scene, one of whom remarked -- in English -- "Oh my God."
From 11 a.m. ET hour of the March 16 edition of Fox News Live:
QUINN: We are coming up on a period of religious pilgrimages, David, is that right?
PIPER: Yes. This is a pilgrimage time. There was [sic] actually attacks on Shiite pilgrims not far from Samarra quite recently. They were actually walking along the streets, going slowly to the holy cities, and they were attacked during this rise in sectarian violence, of course, since Samarra. So security in that area is extremely tight at this time, really trying to calm down the violence that has been erupting between the Shiites and the Sunni in this country.
QUINN: General, [Fox News Pentagon correspondent] Brett [Baier] spoke to this a moment ago, but he was very, very good in clarifying the difference between this and "shock and awe," which we saw three years ago Sunday -- that this is a way of inserting troops. Is that, General, versus softening up targets by bombing them?
McINERNEY: Yes, exactly. Because this is really an air-ground operation, but it allows you to insert a large number of troops with tactical surprise. And that's what they've been able to do, is to insert this large number with the 101st Airborne -- who are the real experts in this -- there quickly, and not being detected coming up the road. And so, that's why this is effective. They know that there is -- they know that there are people that are watching them very closely. And so, what they're trying to do is to get this tactical surprise -- they know Al Qaeda's in that area -- and disrupt the entire operation of the Al Qaeda.