FACT CHECK: Viral Rumor Falsely Claims The Taliban Killed A Specific CNN Journalist In Afghanistan
A post shared on Facebook claims a CNN journalist named “Bernie Gores” was executed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
No journalist by that name appears to work for CNN. The Twitter account that made the claim is not affiliated with the outlet and has been suspended by Twitter.
Screen grabs of the tweet masquerading as CNN started circulating on Facebook after the Taliban seized control of Kabul on Sunday. The fall of Afghanistan’s capital came after the Taliban took over nearly the entire country in the wake of the U.S. withdrawing its troops, according to CNBC.
“#BREAKING: #CNN Journalist ‘Bernie Gores’ executed in #Kabul by #Taliban soldiers,” alleges the tweet from the Twitter account @CNNAfghan. “We are working with US officials to get several more journalists out of #Afghanistan at this time. Our thoughts are with Bernies’ family.”
In reality, the supposed journalist with that name is not a real person or a CNN employee. No bylines attributed to that name, which resembles a racist phrase, can be found on CNN’s website. The tweet appears to use a photo of a video gaming personality who goes by the name Jordie Jordan. (RELATED:Did CNN Describe The Taliban Takeover Of Afghanistan As ‘Violent But Mostly Peaceful’ In A Chyron?)
The Twitter account @CNNAfghan is not affiliated with CNN and has since been suspended for violating the social media platform’s rules. Unlike CNN’s various Twitter accounts, the @CNNAfghan handle was not verified, as seen in an archived version of its timeline on the Wayback Machine.
Bridget Leininger, senior director of communications for CNN, confirmed in an email to Check Your Fact that the rumor was false.