#CNNGotCaught — Chyron Mischief During Virginia Rally

Josh Hallett/Flickr/CC BY adapted via Imgflip

If you sensed the mainstream media was disappointed by the lack of violence and racism at Monday’s Second Amendment rights rally in Richmond, Virginia, you’re not alone. The lead up to the demonstration involved so many “bracing for violence” and “Charlottesville 2.0” statements that the day’s incident-free reality must have left media fear-mongers struggling to figure out how to smear the law-abiding participants. Enter Fake News.

With images of the rally in the background, CNN borrowed breaking news from the previous night in a different state to post this inexcusably misleading chyron: “2 Dead, 15 Injured in Kansas City Shooting” under the heading “Virginia Gun Fight.”

Chyron crafting has taken a prominent role in the network’s broadcasts, with real-time “fact-checking” inserted in parentheses within those chyrons that describe the statements and positions of politicians and analysts with whom they disagree. For example: “TRUMP CALLS OBAMA FOUNDER OF ISIS (HE’S NOT).” Yet Democrats are apparently exempt from the parenthetical corrections, prompting the Daily Wire to recommend this truth-in-advertising chyron: “CNN Fact-Checks Trump (But Never Democrats).”

Even Newsweek took note how CNN’s chyron changed mid-segment to smear an African-American pastor when he refused to criticize Trump after being pushed relentlessly by Don Lemon to do so. Watch:

Such micromanagement of broadcast headlines belies the notion that misleading or inaccurate chyrons have just been issued mistakenly in haste. [Related: Is CNN’s Airport Advertising Racket on Borrowed Time?]

Thus, pretty much no one believed it was an accident when CNN falsely identified Virginia Governor Ralph Norton as a Republican in the chyron that ran during his televised apology for appearing in blackface with a klansman in his medical school yearbook photo (he’s a Democrat). Anderson Cooper’s tweeted correction came with no apology or explanation.

Republicans are well-accustomed to being slandered by CNN’s chyrons, like this one five days into the Trump presidency:But lately Democrats have been feeling the injustice. Andrew Yang’s supporters didn’t buy CNN’s “sincere apology” for leaving Andrew Yang off a list of top Democrat candidates when he was polling at 3%, instead including Beto O’Rourke polling at only 1%.

If there was ever any doubt that the network has a preferred horse in the 2020 election race, that myth of trustworthy impartiality was blown out of the water during the last Democratic debate as CNN’s moderator dismissed Bernie Sanders out of hand when he denied ever telling Elizabeth Warren a woman could not win the presidency.

By the next day Sanders supporters had #CNNisTrash trending on Twitter, and a few wondered whether Sanders’ recent promise to break up CNN’s owner AT&T could have anything to do with the network’s suddenly blatant efforts to oppose his campaign.

Fake News shenanigans aside, the Virginia rally came off without a hitch as one of the most peaceful major demonstrations in recent American history. While CNN cameras fruitlessly scanned the crowd for Nazis, Millie Weaver went into the crowd to get the real story. This is how it’s done, CNN.


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