A YouTube video titled “CNN staging the narrative before making report, they are truly Fake News!” appears that reporter CNN reporter Becky Anderson directs some self-described “Muslim Mothers” to stand behind her as they rally support for London Police in the aftermath of the Muslim terror attacks on Saturday.
According to her bio, Anderson “is based in CNN’s Abu Dhabi bureau, allowing her a distinctive regional perspective on some of today’s most important news stories, including the deepening humanitarian crisis in Syria, continuing unrest in the wake of the Arab Spring and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace process.” According to Mediaite, the “Muslim Mothers” were near the location when police allowed them to move in behind Anderson and her crew and in view of the cameras. According to a statement released by CNN: “This story is nonsense. The group of demonstrators that was at the police cordon was being allowed through by officers so they could show their signs to the gathered media. The CNN crew along with other media present simply filmed them doing so.” Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter dismissed concerns that CNN was effectively aiding the Muslim group in broadcasting their message. He tweeted, “Far-right twitterers are misleading folks about this video. Bloggers saying CNN was caught “staging fake news.”
Mediaite wrote of the controversy, “For those not familiar with live news production, it is actually not that uncommon for hosts and producers to arrange protesters or pedestrians behind reporter to provide a varied background. Sources familiar with this live shoot tell Mediaite that the protesters (“Muslim Mothers”) were already very near the location and the Police simply allowed them to move behind Ms. Anderson and crew.” Stelter tweeted that "Police allowed demonstrators thru cordon 'so they could show their signs' to media, CNN public relations says. CNN, BBC, AP "simply filmed them doing so.'"
Katie Hopkins, a veteran critic of Muslim pressure groups, criticized the BBC for using a clip featuring what she called the Muslim “protest.” She wrote on twitter that she was asking the head of BBC news to account for the apparent staging of a news segment.
For her part, Anderson gave her opinion about the terrorists in a segment that was shot approximately 5 pm on Sunday, nearly a day after the attack in London. She described the murderous assailants thusly: "The lowest of the low. The worst of the worst. Bottom of the barrel. Barbaric scum. That is the message we'd like to give to t [errorists]. Let's say like it is: the message we'd like to give to those losers right now, who caused these attacks last night. Because anyone that it somehow makes sense to murder people for no reason, you are sad, you are miserable, and you are totally, totally, moronic."
It was a few hours later that Anderson was seen signaling to the assembled Muslim protesters. Several observers have suggested that she was staging the event for the cameras.