Fake CNN Graphic Calling Boulder Shooter 'Morally White' Had to Be Fact Checked After Conservatives Thought It Was Real
Republicans across the country have railed against the media as "fake news" and repeatedly echoed former President Donald Trump's rhetoric calling journalists the "enemy of the people."
In reality, conservative elected officials and media personalities have been some of the biggest purveyors of fake news. Trump himself told over 30 thousand lies over the course of his four years in office, especially in regards to the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election. Conservative media hosts on Fox News, OAN, and Newsmax repeatedly spread lies about the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lifesaving vaccines for the virus.
Despite being fact checked in the past, a fake image meant to sow distrust in American media outlets has resurfaced in the wake of a gunman holding four people hostage in a Texas synagogue.
A purported screenshot of CNN hosts covering the aftermath of a shooting in Boulder, Colorado first went viral last March, but the image was edited for the chyron to say the shooter was "factually Arab, but morally white."
The fake image appears to have originated in an article on the right-wing satire site, The Babylon Bee, which also mockingly claimed a CNN anchor said:
"The mass shooter was morally white. This clearly shows that white supremacy is still the enemy here. Whiteness is a flexible thing that can mean whatever soulless political opportunists like us want it to mean, whenever we need it to!"
Many conservatives believed the image was real.
These people are not right in the head. https://t.co/Dg23glECZW
— Scuba Steve (@praxisarizona) January 19, 2022
Why is racism tolerated on CNN? https://t.co/YurtDJP7sd
— SUPER ELITE DRW (@DrwThereal) January 18, 2022
Now we know why cnn is in the dump. https://t.co/bPaA1iRSAk
— Tommy Moyers (@moyers_t) January 18, 2022
What exactly does “morally white” mean? This is criminal, in my opinion. https://t.co/5dReARRena
— eve🤍 (@eveforamerica) January 18, 2022
Twitter flagged the image as "manipulated media" and Associated Press soon issued a fact check:
"The image has been manipulated to feature fake text. A CNN representative previously confirmed to The Associated Press that the network didn’t broadcast the banner. The altered image, which originated in 2021 as satire following a shooting in Colorado, recirculated on social media after a man took hostages at a synagogue in Texas on Saturday."
Social media users shamed those who believed the image and subsequently shared it.
People are so stupid and gullible that you CAN make this stuff up and there are MORONS out there who will believe it.https://t.co/tCZwvu0Q6z
— All Clarque & No Bite (@ClarqueAllen) January 19, 2022
Have you ever realized how much the right has to fabricate lies about the left to keep the illusion going? https://t.co/uYd8RVeeLV
— B̤̿it̺̕B͓̚ur͍̒neȑ🔥 k33p !7 m0v!n (@bitburner) January 19, 2022
It doesn’t matter. People that want to believe that, will. https://t.co/dvBl4DXe57
— Juan Arango (@JuanG_Arango) January 19, 2022
More lies and disinformation from "Christian" conservatives. Typical.
— 🌼Daisy Walker 🌼 (@daisyblue_1) January 19, 2022