CNN is facing ‘fake news’ accusations related to their coverage of an anti-ISIS protest in the aftermath of the London Bridge and Borough Market terror attack.
Twitter user @markantro posted video of CNN producers and their reporter organizing a small number of demonstrators with the group London Fatwa Council behind a cordoned off area with the help of police officers.
The post, captioned “CNN creating the narrative #FakeNews”, has received over 16,000 retweets.
The original uploader of the video added, “Note the white police officers leaving before the CNN shot & the Asian officers coming in. They then left after they went off air!”
CNN senior media correspondent and host of the show Reliable Sources Brian Stelter slammed the accusations on Twitter blaming “far-right twitterers” and bloggers for stirring up a fake controversy. Stelter defended CNN’s actions by saying other news organizations also filmed the demonstration and that protesters were simply ushered behind the cordon “so they could show their signs”.
Speaking with The Daily Mail, demonstrator Mohammad Raza denied allegations the protest was “staged”. “Nothing was set up. We all decided to go down there. We are members of a faith foundation which includes Jewish, Christian and Muslim members,” said Raza. “We went down there on our own initiative to lay flowers at the scene.”
However, those explanations have not silenced some critics who have questioned CNN’s motives for showing the demonstration and having the group pose for the cameras.