Conservatives seize on conspiracy theory to discredit CNN’s exclusive footage of Roger Stone – ThinkProgress

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Following CNN’s unique footage of the FBI arrest of President Donald Trump’s confidant Roger Stone, right-wing conspiracy theorists shortly raised alarm about CNN’s journalistic practices in an try and discredit the outlet — utilizing a speaking level that ricocheted throughout the web and onto the president’s Twitter account.

Early Friday morning, an FBI crew largely made up of furloughed brokers who volunteered for responsibility with out pay arrested Stone at his house in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, together with a federal indictment filed by particular counsel Robert Mueller.

Stone’s arrest didn’t come as a lot of a shock, contemplating that he has been a central determine in Mueller’s ongoing investigation of potential Russian interference within the 2016 election. However it did characteristic one distinctive attribute: It was captured by CNN’s information cameras.

It wasn’t lengthy earlier than the far-right’s most infamous conspiracy theorists raised suspicion about how CNN was in a position to seize the footage.

First was former Fox Information host Greta Van Susteren, who said in a tweet posted simply after 7:00 am that the “FBI clearly tipped off CNN…even in the event you don’t like Stone, it’s curious why Mueller’s workplace tipped off CNN as a substitute of attempting to quietly arrest Stone.”

She shortly tried to stroll again that assertion, later tweeting that CNN could or could not have been tipped off.

Nonetheless, her unique tweet shortly racked up 1000’s of retweets and likes, and was parroted by a number of different conspiracy theorists like Jacob Engels, Erick Erickson, and Jordan Schachtel. By 10:00 am, the notion that the FBI was coordinating with CNN had made it into conspiracy clearinghouses like The Day by day Caller, Gateway Pundit, and Infowars.

Late Friday morning, Trump himself posed the query: “Who alerted CNN to be there?”

Had Van Susteren and different skeptics watched CNN a bit longer, nevertheless, it could have grow to be clear the one factor CNN was responsible of was good journalism practices.

Shortly earlier than 7:30 am, CNN producer David Shortell — who was on the bottom with a digicam crew in Fort Lauderdale to seize the footage in query — appeared on the air to elucidate what transpired and the way he occurred upon the scene.

In line with Shortell, uncommon grand jury exercise in Washington, D.C. the day earlier than, coupled with months of reporting on the Russia investigation and a comparatively quick listing of doable suspects who may very well be dealing with legal fees, was sufficient for CNN journalists to instinctively ship a crew to Stone’s home simply in case he was the goal.

Certainly, Friday’s arrest adopted an identical script to earlier police exercise associated to the Mueller investigation — a pre-dawn raid, that includes a small crew of uniformed FBI brokers. Each Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen had been subjected to related raids in 2017 and 2018.

Conservative commentators — together with the president — typically visitors in baseless hypothesis and outright fabrication, and falsely accuse the mainstream media of doing the identical. CNN is a selected goal, incessantly singled out particularly by Trump for instance of “pretend information.” Trump as soon as tweeted a video of himself body-slamming an individual whose head had been superimposed with the CNN emblem.

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