CNN Denies Staging Muslim Anti-ISIS Demonstration in London
CNN posted a statement to Twitter Sunday night denying the news network had staged an anti-ISIS demonstration by a group of Muslims earlier Sunday in Borough, one of the locations that was part of Saturday’s Islamist terror attack on London. The statement was posted on Twitter as a reply to Mike Cernovich, who publicized the video, and to Mark Antro, the Londoner who took the video documenting the staging by CNN reporter Becky Anderson and her crew. TGP reported earlier on the video.
The statement by CNN International’s London-based Public Relations team said, “This is nonsense. Police let demonstrators through the cordon to show their signs. CNN along with other media simply filmed them doing so.”
This is nonsense. Police let demonstrators through the cordon to show their signs. CNN along with other media simply filmed them doing so.
— CNN International PR (@CNNPRUK) June 5, 2017
As the video by Antro shows, Anderson and her news crew were directing the demonstrators for the cameras to give them the best presentation, contrary to the CNN statement.
The video opens with Anderson instructing a demonstrator on how to hold his sign, motioning him to kneel down. More demonstrators move in around the man, many bending over to place flowers on the street in front of him. At 1:15 in the video Anderson can be seen again giving directions to the demonstrators. Right after that two news crew staffers near Anderson can be seen directing several demonstrators on the end of the grouping to move closer to get in camera range.
Anderson does not mention in the report seen on the video that group was brought in by police and staged by her for the cameras.
Anderson posted a separate report she did for CNN from the same location in which she lambasted the terrorists behind the attack. The demonstrators were gone and unmentioned, but their flowers remained.
— Becky Anderson (@BeckyCNN) June 4, 2017
British journalist Katie Hopkins asked on Twitter for evidence the staged demonstration aired on the BBC also. A viewer posted a screen grab.
AP reporter Raphael Satter posted a photo of the demonstration without noting it was staged for the media.
A group of London Muslims have come bearing flowers and posters saying "ISIS will lose" and "Love will win" across a photo of Tower Bridge. pic.twitter.com/ECCLIRC3dp
— Raphael Satter (@razhael) June 4, 2017
Satter did write an interesting article about Borough’s reaction to the attack that was published by the AP on Sunday.
(A note by this writer: As a participant and leader of hundreds of demonstrations, protests and rallies, I was never directed by reporters or news crews like this. Our band of conservative activists at Free Republic were expected to know how to form up for the cameras without direction otherwise we blew the shot and missed out on a report about our actions.)