Fact Check: CNN Did NOT Have News Report On April 22, 2022, About New Program That Could Earn Americans Up To $50,000

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: CNN Did NOT Have News Report On April 22, 2022, About New Program That Could Earn Americans Up To $50,000 Fact Check: CNN Did NOT Have News Report On April 22, 2022, About New Program That Could Earn Americans Up To $50,000 Fake Newscast

Was there a CNN news report on April 22, 2022, about a new program that could earn Americans up to $50,000? No, that's not true: Instead, a video that claimed that such a financial program has "been all over the news lately" used stock footage posing as a CNN news report to advertise a business.

The claim appeared in a video posted on Facebook on May 19, 2022. The video, which did not include a caption, began with a shot of what appeared to be a muted news report from CNN. The narrator, who was seemingly behind the camera and then switched to a front-facing view, said:

This program's been all over the news lately.

So a new benefit just got released last week allowing Americans to claim up to $50,000. You don't need any credit history at all, no bank requirements. I did it myself and I got $8,000 in two days.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

cnn video 50000 FB post.png

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon May 23 19:03:08 2022 UTC)

The "news" shown at the beginning of the video posted to Facebook is fabricated. The report used stock footage that can be found on Shutterstock and is attributed to video contributor ANDREY-SHA74. The stock footage, which didn't have a watermark in the video posted to Facebook, was seemingly overlaid with a "Breaking News" banner and a date banner that read "Tuesday, April 22" at the top right. The American flag on the reporter's screen also didn't include the candle seen in the stock footage, as the video of the flag was zoomed in. The stock footage was laid on top of another background, which included some sort of large stamp of approval to the left, a large chyron making the $50,000 claim and a graphic of CNN. The fake CNN news report appeared to use the first four to six seconds of the stock footage. A screenshot comparison of the stock footage (on top) and the fake news report used in the video posted to Facebook (on bottom) is below:

shutterstock 50000.png
(Source: Shutterstock screenshot taken on Mon May 23 19:40:08 2022 UTC)

fake cnn 50000 screenshot.png
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Mon May 23 19:45:56 2022 UTC)

None of the anchors or reporters who were featured on CNN's website on April 22, 2022, the date that purported to be the day the alleged news report aired, looked like the anchor in the video posted to Facebook.

The video posted to Facebook also included text at the bottom that read:

Actor portrayal, results may vary. T&C apply, see site for details. NMLS #1988991

The Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) number led Lead Stories to On the Barrelhead, Inc., which is a self-described "robo-advisor for consumer debt." The company owns PersonalLoanPro, which showed up later in the video posted to Facebook when the narrator instructed the viewer to go to personalloanpro.com and provide information about what they needed the money for and how much money they would need. At that point in the video, it was clear that it was an advertisement.

Lead Stories used Google's search engine to look for "$50,000 program on news," "$50,000 for Americans CNN" and "new $50,000 benefit" and didn't see any results that supported the claim. We also searched CNN.com for the phrase used in the fake news report chyron: "Americans Can Now Claim Up To $50,000." We didn't get back any relevant results.

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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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