FACT CHECK: Did CNN Air A Chyron Saying The Boulder Shooter Was ‘Factually Arab, But Morally White’?

Trevor Schakohl | Legal Reporter

An image shared on Instagram purportedly shows CNN airing a news chyron that reads: “Investigation: Shooter Was Factually Arab, But Morally White.”



Verdict: False

The chyron has been digitally altered. The doctored image first appeared in a satire article.

Fact Check:

The image of the alleged CNN banner started circulating after a deadly mass shooting took place March 22 at a Boulder, Colorado, King Soopers supermarket. The Associated Press reported that two law enforcement officials said the suspected shooter, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, was born in Syria in 1999 and emigrated to the U.S. as a toddler.

Featured in the image are CNN host Brooke Baldwin and correspondent Lucy Kafanov participating in what appears to be a television broadcast, with a graphic in the upper-right corner identifying Kafanov as being “On Scene” in Boulder. The supposed chyron reads, “Investigation: Shooter Was Factually Arab, But Morally White.”

In reality, CNN did not air a chyron stating that the shooter was “factually Arab, but morally white.” Check Your Fact reviewed the original March 23 broadcast on the video-clip editing service Grabien and found that the banner has been doctored. At the moment captured in the image, the chyron said, “Colorado Shooting Suspect Booked Into Jail Today,” according to the footage on Grabien.

“This is fake,” Bridget Leininger, a senior director of communications at CNN, confirmed Check Your Fact via email. (RELATED: No, The Mass Shooting In Boulder Was Not A ‘False Flag’ Operation)

The altered image originated in a March 23 article published by the Babylon Bee, a website that describes itself as producing “satire about Christian stuff, political stuff, and everyday life.” Though the Babylon Bee disclaims that it is a satire website, some social media users appeared to mistakenly believe the doctored CNN chyron was genuine.

Trevor Schakohl

Legal Reporter
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