In keeping with the rhetoric of President Donald Trump, many conservatives leap at any chance to accuse the media of “fake news,” especially CNN.
The usual target is the network’s political reporting, of course, but as Hurricane Florence swept through the Carolinas, conservatives instead began targeting its weather coverage, starting with a widely-shared meme of CNN anchor Anderson Cooper standing in waist-deep water, claiming that Cooper had staged the shot.
The meme was even shared by senior Housing and Urban Development official Lynne Patton.
In addition to Donald Trump Jr. and other Trump loyalists.
It’s a shame that CNN’s ratings are down 41%. What’s worse is there’s a simple solution that they refuse to accept. Stop Lying to try to make @realDonaldTrump look bad. https://t.co/O3XyWchsJh pic.twitter.com/BCUCxKnOvO
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 16, 2018
Absolutely disgraceful! Apparently #HurricaneFlorence wasn’t devastating enough for @CNN’s @andersoncooper — so he had to exaggerate for his live shot. #FakeNews at its finest! pic.twitter.com/9pUJ6Ulgqf
— Gavin J. Smith (@iamgavinjames) September 15, 2018
Anderson Cooper of CNN in a ditch pretending to be in waist deep water#CnnIsSoFake
They can’t help themselves.
Help us expose @AndersonCooper & @CNN as #FakeNews with a #RETWEET
Shameful #HurricaneFlorence2018 propaganda to attack @realDonaldTrump
Join https://t.co/ZbnntViW4T pic.twitter.com/2JPOAxv6s8
— We Support 45 (@WeSupport45) September 15, 2018
But turns out, the claim is honest to goodness fake news.
According to Snopes, the pictures of Cooper come from his 2008 coverage of Hurricane Ike in Texas. When faced with this reality, some conservatives insisted that it didn’t matter. The point was silent.
It's still fraud your point is mute
— EVILEAGLE (@JasonWWalton1) September 16, 2018
Even if it’s an old photo.. it’s still @CNN caught creating fake news
— OrgConservAmericans (@OCAmericans) September 16, 2018
But, again, that was fake news.
Not only is the coverage not of Hurricane Florence, but Cooper’s report is addressing the abrupt changes in water levels to warn viewers of flood hazards, which he demonstrates.
A lot of right wing loons are spreading a photo of Anderson Cooper waist deep in water during Hurricane Florence. They allege he was faking the extent of the flood.
It was actually Hurricane Ike and Anderson was showing how deep the water was in places.
He even petted a dog. pic.twitter.com/mWcT1URVmw
— #VotePlease (@Care2much18) September 17, 2018
Users were eager to point this out.
It was actually from a special that he ran the day after Hurricane Ike. He is standing in a ditch and during the special he also walked around in order to show the variations of depths in the water. Even if that wasn't what he was doing EVERYONE looks for the best shot!
— MMackie (@mackiem68) September 15, 2018
Cool pic. Why don’t you tell your followers it’s ten years old? Has absolutely nothing to do with coverage of your dad. And it demonstrates the dangers of driving in flooded areas – a few inches to feet without warning, which has resulted in many deaths. Who’s misleading who?
— Matt Dornic (@mdornic) September 16, 2018
However, the facts didn’t seem to change too many minds.