This is probably the video you saw of people celebrating 9/11
Tell people Donald's Trump's wrong, and there was no TV footage of people in New Jersey celebrating the 9/11 terrorist attacks in 2001 — and there's a pretty good chance they'll tell you they remember it.
That's certainly been the case on the New Jersey 101.5 Facebook page, where hundreds of people have responded to posts debunking Trump's claims by saying they're sure they remember cheering, flag-burning or other celebrations.
"I remember it happening in Paterson," Teresa Ciuffreda wrote on New Jersey 101.5's Facebook page. "It was definitely on the news right after 9/11 happened."
"Not for Trump but do remember news report showing Muslims cheering in Patterson (sic)," Joseph Balla wrote. "They should have been deported!"
They were far from alone.
That's despite the fact that New Jersey's governor at the time doesn't remember any such celebrations and current Gov. Chris Christie doesn't remember any. It's despite the fact that the celebrations have been outright denied by Jersey City's mayor, as well as by the police director of nearby Paterson, where similar rumors have persisted for years.
It's despite the fact that fact-check stories by PolitiFact and the The Washington Post have criticized Trump's comments as an “urban myth” and “outrageous.” PolitiFact wrote that it did extensive searches of transcripts from TV broadcasts at the time, and could find nothing. The Post said it could find only mentions of unconfirmed reports and rumors (which apparently includes its own Sept. 18, 2001 report, mentioning an allegation of people celebrating but no source, and no word on whether it was confirmed).
But what was widely shown at the time was footage of Palestinians celebrating overseas — video by Reuters was aired on networks including Fox News and CNN, and can be seen above.
That footage was subject to its own conspiracy theories — widely circulated rumors on the Internet that it was actually shot during the first Gulf War, and aired by news stations to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment.
"Reuters rejects as utterly baseless an allegation being circulated by e-mail and the Internet claiming that it circulated 10-year-old videotape to illustrate Palestinians celebrating in the wake of the September 11 tragedies in the United States," Reuters wrote at the time.
It continued later in the statement: "The videotape in question was shot in East Jerusalem by a Reuters camera crew on September 11 in the immediate aftermath of the attacks on the United States."
Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale — who was emphatic in his assertion to New Jersey 101.5 that no groups of Muslims or anyone else were seen celebrating in his city's streets — has his own theory of why the impression persists:
"The media was going form the World Trade Center, then to the Middle East, then to the Muslim communities in NJ,” Speziale said. “Could one make the assumption and say, ‘I just saw someone burning flags’ and think it was America? Yes, I guess.”
Speziale said he knows “so clearly” that celebrations didn’t happen.
“I was in the streets. I was there. There were no reports. Zero. Not one. Zero reports,” he said.