CNN Mistakes Sex Toy Flag for ISIS Flag at Gay Pride Parade
The cable news network aired an "exclusive" report after one of its international reporters claimed she saw terrorist propaganda during the London event.
CNN reported Saturday that a man was flying an ISIS flag at London's gay-pride parade, but it turned out to be a banner covered in sex toys.
CNN International reporter Lucy Pawle called in to the network after spotting the flag.
She reported that a man dressed in black and white "was waving what appeared to be a very bad mimicry but what appeared to be a very clear attempt to mimic the ISIS flag, the black-and-white flag with the distinctive lettering."
But both Pawle and her CNN colleagues, including anchor Suzanne Malveaux, don't seem to notice that the flag actually consists of images of dildos and butt plugs, rendered in the style of ISIS. Even Pawle noted the writing on the flag wasn't in Arabic, adding "It looks like it could be gobbledygook. But it’s very distinctive, the ISIS flag.”
"I seem to be the only person who has spotted this, and nobody seems to be raising any questions," Pawle added, saying that neither event organizers nor the police knew about the flag. She suggested later that it might be a "subtle" joke.
"It was very subtle and us Brits known for our subtle sense of humor but I'm not sure that everyone, if they had spotted it, might have thought it was particularly amusing," Pawle added, with Malveaux saying, "it may be a parody."
CNN also brought in national security analyst Peter Bergen for its "exclusive" report. Bergen seemed puzzled by the sight, saying that it's unclear who was waving the flag or what his motivations were and repeatedly noting that a gay-pride parade is a strange place to wave an ISIS flag given the group's anti-gay views.
Malveaux at one point wonders out loud if the flag could be a warning of a London attack: "This is our next location, this is our next attack," she suggests.
Internet commentators quickly pointed out the gaffe.
In response to tweets mocking her report, Powle wrote, "I reported no such thing." However, she did retweet those who identified what was really on the flag.
@Paddy0pedobom I reported no such thing— Lucy Pawle (@lucypawle) June 27, 2015
CNN has not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter's request for comment.
Watch the video of CNN's report below.