Originally published July 3 2015
CNN mistakes gay pride dildo, butt plug flag for ISIS, brings in security expert to decode
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Some stories are so unbelievable and over-the-top that you might swear they were fabrications – and this is one of them.
Sadly, for journalism anyway, this is not a fabrication.
On Saturday, June 27, the Cable News Network actually reported that a man was flying an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, banner during a gay-pride parade in London – only, it turned out to be just a banner covered in sex toys.
Hence, the event.
CNN International reporter Lucy Pawle called in to the network after spotting the flag. As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, Pawle noted in her reporting that a man dressed in black and white "was waving what appeared to be a very bad mimicry but what appeared to be a very clear attempt to mimic the ISIS flag, the black-and-white flag with the distinctive lettering."
There was a reason why this was an "exclusive" story
However, THR further noted:
But both Pawle and her CNN colleagues, including anchor Suzanne Malveaux, don't seem to notice that the flag actually consists of images of dildos and butt plugs, rendered in the style of ISIS. Even Pawle noted the writing on the flag wasn't in Arabic, adding "It looks like it could be gobbledygook. But it's very distinctive, the ISIS flag."
"I seem to be the only person who has spotted this, and nobody seems to be raising any questions," Pawle added, saying that neither event organizers nor the police knew about the flag. Later, she hinted that it could be a "subtle" joke.
"It was very subtle and us Brits known for our subtle sense of humor but I'm not sure that everyone, if they had spotted it, might have thought it was particularly amusing," Pawle added, with Malveaux chiming in to say, "It may be a parody."
If that wasn't enough, the network's hosts actually brought in a "security expert" to help decipher what they were seeing. Enter national security analysts Peter Bergen, who provided more insight during this "exclusive" report.
As the report continued, Bergen seemed befuddled by the images, noting that it was unclear who was waving the flag or what the motivations may have been. He repeatedly said that a gay pride parade would have been a strange place to wave an ISIS flag given the group's anti-gay point of view (or, if the flag had been real, it could have been a way to sort of take a dig at the terrorist group).
At one point, Malveaux wondered out loud if the flag might be a warning of some sort to a pending London attack.
"This is our next location, this is our next attack," she suggested.
The reporter didn't even pick up on an irony she mentioned
Internet-based readers were quick to point out the gaffe. Many mocked the reporting, which led Pawle to respond in the twitterverse, "I reported no such thing." She did, however, reply to those who actually identified what was really on the flag.
You can see the video report here.
We suppose one could be forgiven for not being able to identify with certain sexual behaviors, or with the devices associated with such behavior. But it just seems a bit of a stretch to believe that a media network attempting to portray itself as a serious player in the world of television news journalism would not have been a little bit more discerning, if not outright suspicious, of the subject matter, given the nature of the event at which this "banner" was being flown.
An irony the reporter mentioned – that no one else seemed concerned – wasn't even enough to arouse suspicion.
The parade was a very public event; CNN International certainly isn't the only news organization in London. But apparently the network was the only one gullible enough to treat this as some sort of big news event.
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