A viral photo of a CNN chyron makes it look like the network sympathized with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the former Islamic State leader, after he died in an American raid. But the image is fake.
The post was published on Facebook Oct. 27 — the day after the raid on Baghdadi’s compound in northwestern Syria. It has been shared more than 2,500 times.
"Trump Kills Unarmed Father of Three," reads the chyron. "President calls brave ISIS fighter a ’coward & dog’ … credits Russia in brutal slaying."
The post, which has been published by several other pages and users, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) Some commenters took it as a joke, and others thought it might be real.
CNN never aired a chyron calling Baghdadi an "unarmed father of three." The pieces of the image were manipulated.
The image of Don Lemon, host of "CNN Tonight," has been online since at least January, according to a Google reverse image search. The photo of Baghdadi is real — it was taken from a video posted by the Islamic State’s propaganda arm in April. It could have aired on CNN during Baghdadi coverage, albeit not with this chyron.
We checked CNN captions since the raid was carried out Oct. 26. We could find no mention of the word "unarmed." We also checked "CNN Tonight" archives and could not find a chyron that matched the one in the viral photo.
Then there’s the timing of the chyron.
"This is fake," said Christal Jones, a senior public relations manager at CNN, in an email. "Don’s show airs weeknights 10pm to midnight. The clip shows a time of 9:01pmET."
The Facebook post is not accurate and makes a ridiculous claim. We rate it Pants on Fire!