Fact Check: Brian Stelter Was NOT Arrested By U.S. Military

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Brian Stelter Was NOT Arrested By U.S. Military No Such Arrest

Did the U.S. military arrest Brian Stelter, a former CNN host, on August 27, 2022? No, that's not true: "This story is completely false," a duty officer at the Pentagon told Lead Stories. The Posse Comitatus Act forbids the U.S. military from arresting citizens. In addition, these claims were posted on a satirical website.

The claim appeared in an article published by Real Raw News on August 29, 2022 titled "Brian Stelter Arrested," (archived here) which opened:

The U.S. military on Saturday arrested liberal "woke" activist and former CNN host Brian Stelter on charges of child molestation and possession of child pornography near his family's posh condominium on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, JAG sources told Real Raw News.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Brian Stelter Arrested | Real Raw News

Brian Stelter was a CNN host whose show, "Reliable Sources," was recently canceled.

A Pentagon duty officer told Lead Stories in an August 30, 2022, email: "This story is completely false."

The Posse Comitatus Act, enacted in 1878, does not allow the U.S. military to arrest U.S. citizens or enforce domestic law. It is considered a federal crime for troops to do so currently.

A Google search using the keywords, "Brian Stelter Arrested as of August 27, 2022" produced no results corroborating this claim.

An August 28, 2022, Instagram post published by Stelter on his verified account -- a day after the purported arrest -- shows that he was in not in the custody of the U.S. government.

Other Lead Stories fact checks referencing Brian Stelter can be found here.

Real Raw News has a long history of publishing false claims in mock news stories, many of them about convictions and executions of various public figures at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. For example, the site reported former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hanged (she wasn't); former White House Chief of Staff John Podesta was executed (he wasn't); and that "the military" convicted former Attorney General William Barr on charges of treason (it didn't).

The website for Real Raw News includes a disclaimer that warns readers not to take its content too seriously. Specifically, it says:

Information on this website is for informational and educational and entertainment purposes. This website contains humor, parody, and satire. We have included this disclaimer for our protection, on the advice on legal counsel.

Real Raw snip.jpg

(Source: RealRawNews.com screenshot taken Tue Aug 3 16:39:48 UTC 2021)

Lead Stories has covered claims published by Real Raw News in the past. Previous Lead Stories debunks of Real Raw News items is collected here.

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  Kaiyah Clarke

Kaiyah Clarke is a fact-checker at Lead Stories. She is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a B.S. in Broadcast Journalism and is currently pursuing an M.S. in Journalism. When she is not fact-checking or researching counter-narratives in society, she is often found reading a book on the New York Times Bestseller List.

Read more about or contact Kaiyah Clarke

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