FACT CHECK: Was Brian Stelter Executed?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook purports former CNN anchor Brian Stelter was executed by the U.S. military following his conviction for crimes against children.

Verdict: False

The claim stems from a satirical website. A spokesperson for the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps denied the authenticity of the claim.

Fact Check:

Stelter recently announced he’d be joining Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center as a media and democracy fellow, the New York Post reported. The former CNN anchor previously worked at the network until his show, “Reliable Sources,” was cancelled in a large corporate shakeup, the outlet reported.

The Facebook post claims Stelter was purportedly executed at Guantanamo Bay after being sentenced by a military tribunal for alleged crimes he committed against children. The supposed execution was overseen by Vice Admiral Darse E. Crandall who serves as the U.S. Navy’s 45th JAG, according to the post.

The claim is false. There are no credible news reports to support the claim. Likewise, neither Stelter, the U.S. Navy JAG Corps, nor the U.S. Marine Corps have mentioned the claim on their verified social media pages.

“This claim is misinformation,” Patricia Babb, a spokesperson for the U.S. Navy JAG Corps told Check Your Fact in an email. (RELATED: Did The U.S. Navy JAG Corps Create A Child Sex Crimes Division?)

A keyword search reveals the claim stems from a Sept. 28 article published by the website, “Real Raw News.” A disclaimer included on the website’s “About Us” page indicates that it contains “humor, parody, and satire.”

The latest claim follows a Sept. 20 article from Real Raw News alleging Stelter had been convicted of child molestation and possession of child pornography by a military tribunal, who recommended he be executed due to his “unrepentant nature.”

Stelter declined to comment on record in an email to Check Your Fact. Check Your Fact has also contacted a U.S. Marine Corps spokesperson for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter


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