CNN is refuting claims it intentionally staged and manipulated Muslim protesters for a camera shot after the June 3 London terrorist attacks (video below).
A video uploaded to YouTube and Twitter has gained traction after it showed CNN correspondent Becky Anderson directing Muslim protesters who were holding anti-ISIS and pro-love signs into the frame of her shot, according to the Washington Examiner.
The video was posted to YouTube with the caption "CNN staging the narrative before making report, they are truly Fake News!" It then made the rounds of Twitter, where one post with the embedded video has garnered more than 19,000 retweets. The caption of that Twitter post accused CNN of bringing the signs for the protesters to hold as "props."
CNN has responded to the incident, denying any manipulation of the scene.
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"This story is nonsense," CNN said in a statement. "The group of demonstrators that was at the police cordon was being allowed through by officers so they could show their signs to the gathered media. The CNN crew along with other media present simply filmed them doing so."
Brian Stelter, a political correspondent for CNN and the host of "Reliable Sources" said that far-right users on Twitter are misleading others with their accusations, saying that the police allowed the demonstrators through the cordon so that they could show their signs, according to Mediaite. Stelter also noted that BBC and The Associated Press were filming the scene, in addition to CNN.
"For those not familiar with live news production, it is actually not that uncommon for hosts and producers to arrange protesters or pedestrians behind reporter to provide a varied background," writes Colby Hall of Mediaite. Hall also wrote that sources told him protesters were already close to the live shot and police simply allowed them to move behind Anderson and her crew.
"There is reason to fairly critique this as 'editorializing' the shoot and not just reporting the news, wrote Hall. "And in a climate where CNN is feeling a lot of criticism -- most of which is unfounded -- from the conservative corners of the Internet, this footage won’t help their cause."
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On June 3, attackers drove a van into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed several others, reports BBC. Police killed the three attackers shortly after they drove into the pedestrians, and witnesses said they hurled nearby objects at the men to defend themselves before police arrived.
ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.