Did CNN ‘Lighten’ Photo of Man Who Drove Into Protesters?

Falsely accusing CNN of altering the racial identity of crime suspects in news photographs has become a distinct subclass of misinformation.

  • Published 16 June 2020

Claim

CNN lightened the skin tone in a picture of a man accused of driving a car into Seattle protesters.

Rating

Origin

Spurious social media posts falsely accusing CNN of altering the racial identity of crime suspects in news photographs have become a distinct subclass of misinformation. One example in this vein, from June 2020, claimed the cable news network had lightened the skin tone in a picture of a man who was arrested on June 7, 2020, for driving a car into anti-police-brutality protesters in Seattle:

This image originated with a photograph snapped by Dean Rutz of The Seattle Times, which accompanied an Associated Press article on the incident:

However, the report of this incident published by CNN on its website didn’t use this photograph at all, much less in an altered form. We also found no evidence that this image was a screen capture from a CNN televised report, nor does the placement of the CNN logo onto the image correspond with the way CNN displays such pictures during their telecasts.

In short, this is merely another example of an image manipulated not by CNN, but by persons seeking to malign CNN with misinformation.