Fake Viral

No, CNN did not praise Taliban for “wearing mask” and “peaceful transfer of power”

Written by Md Mahfooz Alam

An image of a news article purportedly of CNN is doing the rounds on social media with the claim that the news channel has praised the Taliban for wearing masks while laying siege in Afghanistan.

Ashraf Gani, the President of Afghanistan has fled the country leaving its citizen helpless. The country has completely fallen into the hands of the Taliban with the siege of Kabul on 15 August.

Facto News found that the claim is false and the news article with the CNN logo was published by a satirical website.

Varun Gandhi, Member of Parliament from Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh posted the image on Twitter with the caption that reads: “Corona warriors in Kabul”. The image is titled: “CNN Praises Taliban For Wearing Masks During Attack” and the ticker on the image reads: “TALIBAN FIGHTERS RESPONSIBLY WEARING MASKS”.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

Filmmaker, Ashoke Pandit, also posted the image. The caption along with the post reads: “When #CNN beat #NDTV and #BarkhaDutt in their appeasement Wait a minute lets not forget Rubbish Kumar, who had recently said: “It is the bullet that killed Danish Siddiqui and not the Taliban. Main hazaar laanate deta hoon oos bullet ko jisne humare journalist ko maara.””

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

Along with the image of the news article, one more morphed image of CNN is being shared. The ticker of the morphed image reads: “VIOLENT BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL TRANSFER OF POWER”, which refers to the power transfer to Taliban in Afghanistan.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

The news article image is being massively shared on Facebook.

(Source: Facebook/Screenshot)

FactO Check:

The image of the news article has the logo of CNN, however, the byline is given to BabylonBee.com. Taking this cue, we searched the article on the website BabylonBee.com and found the viral news article published on 14 August.

We found that the website describes itself as the “world’s best satire site” and the website also says that they write “satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life”.

(Source: The Babylon Bee/Screenshot)

The Twitter handle of the website also posted the article. The bio of the handle reads: “Fake news you can trust”.

We also reverse searched the image and found it used in an article published by the BBC on 15 August 2012. The credit to the image is given to Reuters and the image is described: “The Taliban overran Swat under the leadership of Maulana Fazlullah in 2007”.

(Source: BBC News/ Screenshot)

The other image of CNN with the ticker of peaceful transfer of power is morphed. The image is a screenshot from a video report of CNN from August 2020.  The video report is about the protest in Wisconsin over the shooting of Jacob S. Blake, a 29-year-old black man on August 23, 2020. The ticker in the video reads: “FIERY BUT MOSTLY PEACEFUL PROTESTS AFTER POLICE SHOOTING”.

For a better understanding, we have made a collage comparing the real image with the morphed one.

Conclusion:

The image of CNN praising the Taliban for wearing masks was published by a satirical website and the image about the peaceful transfer of power is taken from a CNN video report and the background and ticker are photoshopped.

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About the author

Md Mahfooz Alam

Mahfooz is a multimedia journalist and regularly writes fact-check stories for Facto News. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. He has worked as an intern fact-checker for The Quint. He specializes in research and fact-checking and aspires to do investigative reporting.

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