There is a kerfuffle over CNN possibly staging a fake protest that they, the BBC and left-wing Snopes say was a legitimate “protest”. Check out the size of the protest and read the entire story. before making up your mind.
CNN was accused of staging a fake protest in London on Sunday, the day after three radical Islamic terrorists used a van and knives to kill seven people and injure as many as 48 others, nearly half of which are still in the ICU.
CNN correspondent Becky Anderson prepared the TV segment in question by directing the handful of men, women in hijabs and children with mostly pre-printed signs to gather in a group wide enough to cover a camera shot. The signs were anti-Islamic extremism.
Right-wing sites said they were trying to play up a narrative that put Muslims in a positive light.
— Voice of Europe (@V_of_Europe) June 4, 2017
The shot was aired and Anderson called the protesters “wonderful”.
After the staging was spread around social media, CNN called it “nonsense” and 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, known for his anti-right programs, tweeted, “Police allowed demonstrators thru cordon ‘so they could show their signs to media, @CNNPR says CNN, BBC, AP ‘simply filmed them doing so.”
Far-left fact checkers Snopes backed them up. The people are real, but is the news real?
Here is another tweet showing the AP used the same shot. At least three organizations did jump on it.
— andrescalamardo (@flippingareolas) June 4, 2017
The CNN statement might be true insofar as it goes, however, there are very few protesters and they mostly have pre-printed, professional signs which makes it appear to be anything but grassroots. Having them spread out to make it seem like a much larger group does qualify as some degree of staging by CNN.
Furthermore, does a teeny, tiny group of Muslims with pre-printed signs comprise a real story or a fake narrative?
I remember a March for Life in D.C. some years ago when police estimated crowd size, they said about a million people showed up. There wasn’t a word in the media except on Fox News. Was that news?
According to the BBC, the gathering was organized by the London Fatwa Council, who confirmed that their chairman, Shaykh Mohammad Yazdani, was present at the vigil to pay respects to the victims.
He also issued the public statement excerpted below:
I was shocked to my core when I learnt of the devastating attacks in London, as I left the mosque last night. Whilst myself and the majority of the Muslim community were busy in night time prayers, a horrible act of terror was being played out outside. I am deeply, deeply aggrieved that such heinous violence and terror again be upon our streets.
In the sacred month of Ramadhan when Muslims are engrossed in the remembrance of God and in togetherness with their families and communities, I cannot accept that the perpetrators of this terror are observers of my faith. Acts of terror are always deplorable but more so during the sacred month of Ramadhan.
The group were present to lay flowers at the site. It was taped and sent over the wires, snatched up by most media. When I saw it, before this came out, my reaction was “Oh, come on”. Do you think it was an exaggerated story, staged to send a narrative?
Not to take away from the non-violent Shaykh who led less than a dozen people, but here is the shot by the media. It looks like a significant protest.
This is the actual number who showed up.
Furthermore, the London Fatwa Council is a sharia council advisory board. They describe themselves on their website as “a recognised, decision making authority for the Muslim community, the Council offers advice on issues that affect their daily lives. Our advisory panel, made up of prominent Islamic Jurists deal with a wide range of cases undertaken by the Council.”
“The Council offers legal advice and counselling in accordance with Islamic law,” according to their site.
Couldn’t the story also have been, look how few protested?