Fact Check: Military Tribunal Did NOT Convict, Recommend Execution of Brian Stelter

Fact Check

  • by: Kaiyah Clarke
Fact Check: Military Tribunal Did NOT Convict, Recommend Execution of Brian Stelter Didn't Happen

Did the U.S. military convict and execute Brian Stelter, a former CNN host, on September 20, 2022? No, that's not true: These claims were posted on a satirical website. Lead Stories had already debunked the site's prior claim that Stelter was arrested by the U.S. military on August 30, 2022, which renders this claim even more impossible. Further, the Posse Comitatus Act forbids the military from enforcing civilian law.

The execution claim appeared in an article published by Real Raw News on September 20, 2022, titled "Brian Stelter Convicted | Real Raw News" (archived here), which opened:

A military tribunal on Monday found former CNN host Brian Stelter guilty of child molestation and possession of child pornography, and, owing to Stelter's unrepentant nature and failure to grasp the gravity of his crimes, recommended he be hanged by the neck until dead.

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

Brian Stelter Convicted | Real Raw News

Lead Stories had previously reported that the claim that Brian Stelter was arrested by the U.S. military on August 27, 2022, was false, as a duty officer at the Pentagon denied the allegation.

A Google News search using the keywords "Brian Stelter Convicted as of September 22, 2022" produced no results corroborating this claim. The absence of corroborating reports on what would be a major national story indicates the claim is baseless. A September 20, 2022, tweet published by Stelter on his verified account -- the day of the purported conviction and execution -- shows that he was not in the custody of the U.S. government.

Other Lead Stories fact checks relating to 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.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  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

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion