CLAIM

CNN accidentally aired thirty minutes of porn during an episode of Anthony Bourdain's "Parts Unknown."

FALSE

RATING

FALSE

ORIGIN

On 24 November 2016, an image purporting to show a pornographic scene that was accidentally aired during an episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown on CNN was widely circulated on social media, accompanied by the hashtag #BourdainPorn:

cnn porn fake

Numerous web sites picked up on the hashtag and reported that CNN had accidentally aired thirty minutes of uninterrupted pornography:

CNN accidentally aired a half hour of porn instead of Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Parts Unknown’ – spicing up Thanksgiving night, a Boston viewer has claimed.

The viewer posted several photos of her screen on Twitter, showing how she was expecting to tune in for Bourdain’s travelogue but was met with explicit images of porn star Riley Quinn instead.

The porn movie, according to the user, went on for at least 30 minutes. She first saw it on CNN around 10:30 pm, watched something else, and kept checking periodically until the channel blacked out completely at 11 pm.

While numerous outlets repeated this claim, they all pointed back to one single source: Twitter user @SoLikeARose. This Twitter account was the first to post the image displayed here, and the only one to complain to @RCNConnects (the local cable TV provider that provides CNN for Boston):

cnn rose

RCN responded to @SoLikeARose and stated that they had not heard any other reports about the accidental pornography:

rcn tweets

Despite the story’s single source, several outlets uncritically reported that CNN had aired thirty minutes of uninterrupted pornography. The network added more confusion to the situation when it released a statement blaming RCN for the mistake:

CNN issued a statement to media outlets on Friday blaming the incident on local cable provider RCN. It read: “The RCN cable operator in Boston aired inappropriate content for 30 minutes on CNN last night. CNN has asked for an explanation.”

However, CNN later backtracked, denying that any inappropriate content had interrupted Parts Unknown (or any other television show) in the Boston area on 24 November 2016:

Despite media reports to the contrary, RCN assures us that there was no interruption of CNN’s programming in the Boston area last night.

RCN released a statement of its own on 25 November 2016:

We are in the process of researching this incident but see no evidence our CNN network feed was compromised last evening in Boston.

No other reports have surfaced, and the Twitter account @SoLikeARose has since been made private.

Sources:

Carissimo, Justin.   “CNN denies airing 30 minutes of hardcore porn.”
    The Independent.   25 November 2016.

Verhoeven, Beatrice.   “CNN Denies Reports That Network Accidentally Aired 30 Minutes of Hardcore Porn.”
    The Wrap.   25 November 2016.