On Monday, retired four-star general and MSNBC "military analyst" Barry R. McCaffrey posted a clip of video game footage to Twitter. Alongside it he claimed it was a display of strength from Ukraine's air defense. It's actually footage from a video game.
The clip in question came from YouTube's "shorts" section, and is titled "Russian MiG-29's Get Shot Down By Air Defense System | Arma 3 #Shorts #Airdefense #Arma3."
ARMA 3 is an open world military tactical shooter game for PC published in September 2013.
What's captured on video is two in-game jets being shot down by an air defense system set up on the ground. McCaffrey's tweet was deleted at some point after Benny Johnson pointed out the glaring mistake.
"Why is Left-Wing corporate media allowed to spread "misinformation" about a war, while they advocate for Censorship of Conservatives and Fact Checking of Memes?" he added.
"Russian aircraft getting nailed by UKR missile defense. Russians are losing large numbers of attack aircraft. UKR air defense becoming formidable," McCaffrey had originally tweeted.
The 79-year-old is a regular MSNBC commentator who goes on-air to talk about the ongoing war in Ukraine. He recently told the show's hosts that Ukraine needs to "absorb new military technology" and called Russia's invasion a "strategic disaster."
General McCaffrey's colleague on the Council on Foreign Relations, Max Boot, was also spotted retweeting the four star general's misleading video.
Monday's gaffe is not the first time media pundits have mistaken video game footage as the real thing. At the onset of the war in late February, a tall tale arose claiming an ace fighter pilot called the "Ghost of Kyiv" was taking out Russian aircraft at an accelerated pace.
But as Kotaku discussed at the time, accompanying clips showcasing "Ghost of Kyiv" feats were actually from a "Digital Combat Simulator" video game released in 2013.
USA Today published a fact check debunking rumors that viral comedian star Sam Hyde was not the "Ghost of Kyiv." Some people had claimed as much, and even Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois was briefly fooled by it.
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