FACT CHECK: Did CNN Describe The Taliban Takeover Of Afghanistan As ‘Violent But Mostly Peaceful’ In A Chyron?

Brad Sylvester | Fact Check Editor

An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows CNN airing a chyron that describes the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan as “violent but mostly peaceful.”



Verdict: False

There is no record of CNN airing the chyron. The image appears to have been digitally altered.

Fact Check:

The Taliban captured Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Sunday, prompting Afghan President Ashraf Ghani to flee the country, The New York Times reported. Prior to seizing control of Kabul, the Taliban had taken over numerous provincial capitals in the country, according to Reuters.

A viral image claims in a Facebook post to show a screen grab of a live CNN broadcast from Kabul that includes a chyron saying, “Violent But Mostly Peaceful Transfer Of Power.” However, Check Your Fact found no record of the network calling the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan “violent but mostly peaceful” in online articles or transcripts. The supposed chyron also does not appear in CNN coverage available on the video-clip editing service Grabien.

The fabricated screen grab appears to have been created using an image of CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez reporting from Kenosha, Wisconsin, in August 2020. In the fake CNN report, Jimenez can be seen wearing the same protective gear that he wore while covering unrest after the police shooting of Jacob Blake. At the time, CNN faced some criticism for airing a “Fiery But Mostly Peaceful Protests After Police Shooting” chyron while Jimenez spoke in front of a burning building in Kenosha, The Hill reported.

A graphic visible in the fabricated screen grab shows a countdown clock to the Republican National Convention that occurred in August 2020, further suggesting the fake report was created by digitally altering an old CNN chyron. Shimrit Sheetrit, a CNN spokesperson, confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact, “This image is a fake and never aired.” (RELATED: Did The Taliban Shoot Down 2 US Aircraft And Kill 34 Soldiers In Afghanistan?)

The photo of the helicopter in the background of the fake broadcast screen grab was taken by Associated Press photojournalist Rahmat Gul. It shows a Chinook helicopter flying over the U.S. embassy in Kabul on Sunday, according to its caption, and can be found in an Associated Press news report on Afghanistan.

Brad Sylvester

Fact Check Editor
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