Game Over, Man: How an Egyptian TV Host Got Pwned by a 5-Year-Old Video Game Clip

An Egyptian television host mistook a 5-year-old YouTube clip for recent footage of Russia striking the Islamic State.

Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 3.59.23 PM
Screen Shot 2015-10-12 at 3.59.23 PM

Egyptian television host Ahmed Moussa doesn’t quite have a reputation for always getting everything right. In fact, in recent years, he has been accused multiple times of breaching media ethics codes and speaking libelously while on the air.

But Moussa took it to a new level Sunday when he tried to tout Russian military involvement in Syria by pointing to a video clip of one of Moscow’s recent offensives. He claimed it showed Russian forces hitting the Islamic State; instead, it appeared to be a 5-year-old YouTube clip of a flight simulator video game.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH-pd78_DTc

Egyptian television host Ahmed Moussa doesn’t quite have a reputation for always getting everything right. In fact, in recent years, he has been accused multiple times of breaching media ethics codes and speaking libelously while on the air.

But Moussa took it to a new level Sunday when he tried to tout Russian military involvement in Syria by pointing to a video clip of one of Moscow’s recent offensives. He claimed it showed Russian forces hitting the Islamic State; instead, it appeared to be a 5-year-old YouTube clip of a flight simulator video game.

Of the many videos of Russia’s offensive in Syria to emerge in recent weeks, it was this 5-minute clip that got past Moussa’s production team to air in the middle of his nighttime newscast. Best of all? He provided commentary the entire time.

“Let me tell you … about Russia. Russia does not play around,” he said just before the video game footage began to roll.

“America was just playing; it wasn’t trying to hit Daesh,” he added, using an Arabic name for the Islamic State. “If anything, they were patting Daesh on the back, funding and arming them.”

Moussa then went on to describe what he saw in the video. “These are Islamic State fighters … they’re immediately wiped out … no one gets away.”

His claims were quickly debunked Monday, when the Egyptian Streets blog called him out on the confusion.

The blog said the video game was produced by Russian developer Gaijin Entertainment and later published by Activision under the name “Apache: Air Assault.”

Moussa seemed to ignore that the video was published on YouTube in 2010 under the “gaming” category and that the pilots spoke perfect English, in British and American accents — not in Russian.

“See what the Russians are doing to them! That precision! Look at that car! Wait for the missile to come down! No one gets away!” he shouted.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=5&v=iSCKP8luiFw

It should be noted that the Arab Spring had not yet spread to Syria at the time the YouTube video was uploaded in December 2010. Either way, Moussa remained convinced the footage was legit:

“Here it is, in front of you, live on air,” he said. “We aren’t making anything up. These images are satellite imagery. All of it.”

Photo credit: Screenshot taken via YouTube.

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