CNN Staged a Hurricane Harvey Rescue Video: Facts

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CNN Staged a Hurricane Harvey Rescue Video


CNN Staged This Hurricane Harvey Rescue Video

Other Versions

CNN caught staging fake rescue of hurricane Harvey victim

Fact Check:

A story in circulation online purports to point that CNN was caught staging a fake rescue video of a Hurricane Harvey victim. As explained below, the claim about CNN staging the rescue video is a hoax.

About the Rescue Incident

On 30 August 2017, CNN correspondent Drew Griffin was reporting on Hurricane Harvey in Beaumont, Texas, 85 miles west of Houston. During the recording, a man in the background accidentally drove a truck into a flooded drainage ditch that looked like a street covered in water. Drew Griffin and his CNN crew rushed to rescue the man and pull him out of his vehicle using a rope they had on hand. After coming onto the dry land, the rescued man Jerry Sumrall of Winnie, Texas thanked the CNN guys for saving his life.

Real or Staged?

The same day of the incident on 30 August, a YouTube user Leo Deki shared the dramatic rescue video with a title questioning “REAL OR STAGED? CNN Crew Rescue a Man Being Swept Away By Flood Waters“. The next day on 31 August 2017, Infowars website raised questions about the authenticity of the CNN rescue video by claiming to show that the reporter Drew Griffin was seen running towards the truck in Khaki shorts and Red trainers, but just about 20 seconds later in next clip, he was seen in dark pants and boots while pulling out the man from truck. They questioned how come the reporter Drew Griffin has the time to change clothes during a dramatic incident.

Actual Facts

The CNN correspondent Drew Griffin was in fact wearing a red color CNN raincoat, but he was wearing dark pant, not short. If you watch the rescue video from timeframe 0:30, you can hear the running footsteps of Griffin do not match with the person seen standing in shorts in the video – because he is not Griffin, but the Producer Brian Rokus, who also helped in the rescue along with photographer Scott Pisczek. Responding to the criticism on Twitter, Matt Dornic of CNN shared a picture from the scene showing both Drew Griffin and Brian Rokus wearing red color CNN raincoats.

Explaining the incident later, Griffin pointed that one shouldn’t be around in such flooded situations. He said you cannot tell the difference between a road, a ravine, a creek, or a culvert that’s just overflowing. To conclude, the Hurricane Harvey rescue video of CNN is genuine one; it wasn’t staged.

Hoax or Fact:



CNN reporter rescues Texas motorist from a flooded ditch during live broadcast

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Prashanth Damarla