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This weekend was a rather colourful one: from Facebook profiles to Uber car requests overlaid with rainbow colours. But it was on the streets where most of the action happened with the recent US Supreme Court’s legalisation of gay marriage now in all 50 states spurring Gay Pride marches around the globe.
While people around the were celebrating, CNN however wasn’t that colourful. The news giant ran a seven-minute news segment of an apparent ISIS flag waving around through the Gay Pride march in London, UK. Only it wasn’t a black Islamic State flag with Arabic symbols, but one filled with dildos.
“An unnerving sight today at a London Gay Pride celebration: an ISIS flag among a sea of rainbow colours,” the CNN anchor, Suzanne Malveaux, said. Of course, viewers of the “exclusive” coverage went on to mock the American news broadcaster.
HBO satirist John Oliver summaries it best:
The award for greatest moment in global Pride celebrations actually had nothing to do with gay marriage, and everything to do with the idiocy of CNN. That’s not the ISIS flag. That’s a flag with dildos and butt plugs all over it.
In defence of reporter Lucy Pawle, the flag — apart from the sex toys of course — does resemble that of an ISIS logo. Though the fact that no mention was made of a possible parody or that CNN didn’t officially apologise just made the situation super embarrassing.
“In fact it looks like it could be gobbledygook, but it’s very distinctive, the ISIS flag,” said Pawle referring to the sex toys. The anchor even called up renowned terrorist expert Peter Bergen live on air, who pointed out that it’s likely just a parody.
CNN has gone on to remove the news from its website. One can just imagine the newsroom going: “False alarm guys, the web has informed us that it’s not really a terrorist threat. It’s just dildos.”
Best part of CNN/ISIS/dildo flag story?CNN producers will have to start asking "is this thing we're about to report just a bunch of dildos?"
— Liam Stack (@liamstack) June 27, 2015
— Tarek Fatah (@TarekFatah) June 27, 2015
Omg!!!! I nearly died. Thats the best news fail ive seen in a long time. http://t.co/OXpbQhcPqV
— Fya Hopelezz (@fyahopelezz) June 29, 2015
Certain people showed some sympathy however:
— Mehreen Zahra-Malik (@mehreenzahra) June 29, 2015
— Chris Courtney (@designhawg) June 29, 2015