On April 19, CNN ran a brief story on the Navy's new regulations criminalizing the sharing of explicit photos without consent by Marines and sailors. Which, well, good: The scandal surrounding the 'Marines United' Facebook group revealed a subculture of sexual exploitation and abuse in the armed forces, and it deserves scrutiny from the American public.
But there was a big problem: The “Marines” featured in CNN's b-roll are obviously not Marines, but Chinese troops, with Chinese weapons, boarding a Chinese helicopter:
Let's take a look at a larger version of this photo, first spotted by Defense One editor Marcus Weisgerber:
Photo by Marcus Weisgerber/Twitter
Here at Task & Purpose, we have a significant amount of respect for our civilian friends at the major news networks. We get it, it's damn difficult for civilians to tell the difference between Army infantry and the Marines; Navy SEALs and Delta Force; a rifle and a mere “gun.”
But for God's sake, that helicopter has the giant red star of the Chinese People's Liberation Army plastered across the side.
We'll chalk this mistake up to an intern with an untrained eye and too many responsibilities. But consider this a warning, CNN.