During and in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, social media was bombarded with photos, videos, and commentary concerning the storm, rescue work and tragedy. But in additional to this, there are always those ridiculous lied-based conspiracy theories that emerge out of nowhere and take the internet by storm.
One such conspiracy theory, which many Republicans have been spreading across the internet, consists of photos seemingly depicting CNN’s Anderson Cooper “embellishing” a hurricane by standing in a large flood while his film crew remains on high ground.
Literally thousands of people have shared these photos with headlines such as “Anderson Cooper is FAKE NEWS”, “Anderson Cooper lies to gain ratings for CNN”, and many others. Even President Trump’s own son Donald Trump Jr. posted these photos and commentary, apparently without doing any research whatsoever in order to confirm what he was alleging.
It’s a shame that CNN’s ratings are down 41%. What’s worse is there’s a simple solution that they refuse to accept. Stop Lying to try to make @realDonaldTrump look bad. https://t.co/O3XyWchsJh pic.twitter.com/BCUCxKnOvO
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 16, 2018
The problem here isn’t that Anderson Cooper or CNN was lying. The problem is that Donald Trump Jr. was actually lying, or, at the very least, posting something without verifying its validity. In fact, thousands of people on social media are guilty of doing this exact same thing in order to help spread President Trump’s narrative that CNN is “Fake News”.
Anderson Cooper isn’t known as someone who responds to conspiracy theories. He has shown over and over again that he can take an insult, brush it off, and then move on to the next big story. However, when the president’s own son accused him of being a liar, he decided to fight back.
As you can see in the scathing rebuttal to Trump Jr. below, Cooper quite simply demolishes the narrative that he was trying to mislead his viewers in any way. In fact, he proves that he was doing the exact opposite.
“For those who think I was kneeling or faking the water level or making it look worse than it was or standing in some sort of a hole, this is an area where people had been trapped on the roofs of their homes by water,” Cooper explained during his show on CNN. “Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who I actually interviewed during this broadcast, called it the largest rescue and recovery operation in Texas state history.”
Cooper then went on to show images and videos of what actually happened in the broadcast which took place during Hurricane Ike in September of 2008. Cooper was trying to stay out of the way of rescue vehicles in the aftermath of the devastating hurricane, while pointing out several times how the water was much shallower on the road right by his side.
“I don’t expect the president’s son to ever admit he was wrong or one of the president’s former advisers or frankly anyone else who’s retweeted these pictures,” Cooper said. “But I at least thought that they and you should know the truth.”
The entire segment can be seen below.