This article appeared online at on Friday, September 1, 2017:  

CNN’s Drew Griffin performed a dramatic rescue on live television near Beaumont, Texas, on Wednesday. The YouTube of the rescue has already been viewed nearly 400,000 times.

Said Griffin:

We just literally rescued this guy out. This man just accidentally drove into a ravine that looked like a road.


And his truck just went in, and it’s now going down that ravine.… It happened within seconds. There was no time to call 911. There was no way they were going to get here in time.

Sharp eyes at Conservative Treehouse noted something strange, however, and it was picked up by Monica Showalter at Thinker and elsewhere. A careful viewing of the reveals several things that didn’t fit. First, the driver, reported to be Jerry Sumrall of Winnie, Texas, drove his white pickup truck very slowly into the ditch and when the water began lifting the front end of his vehicle off the ground, Sumrall calmly rolled his window down, as if he was following instructions. This occurred at the 30-second mark.

Then Griffin turned and ran toward to the vehicle which had begun to drift slowly downstream. At 50 seconds into the video, Griffin is clearly seen wearing khaki shorts and runners. The scene is interrupted briefly by a sign and then, at 57 seconds Griffin is seen assisting Sumrall out of his vehicle. But now Griffin is wearing black pants and boots. At the 1:35 mark Griffin is clearly seen once again wearing those pants and boots.

Sundance, the blogger at Conservative Treehouse, noted wryly: “It wasn’t much of a desperate emergency if CNN’s Drew Griffin had time to change from a pair of shorts and sandals into a pair of long pants and boots?”

Andrew West, writing at .com, added: “In a moment that was surely meant to draw Pulitzer votes, this reporter [Griffin] ‘heroically’ intervened to save the encapsulated Texan, all while the cameras just happened to be rolling, and while he just happened to have his microphone with him.” (Emphasis in original.)

Cynics noted the coincidental timing of the release of the dramatic rescue, immediately following an interview by a CNN correspondent the day before that led to CNN being chastized by a flood victim. It happened just before 1 p.m. on Tuesday when a black mother with her two children had just entered a shelter after waiting for hours in the rain for help to come. Clearly at the end of her wits, she responded to the CNN interviewer holding a microphone in front of her and asking how she felt:

People are really breaking down and y’all sitting here with cameras and microphones trying to ask us what … is wrong with us? Are you really trying to understand with the microphone still in my face? With me shivering cold, with my kids wet? And you’re still putting a microphone in my face?

That YouTube has been viewed more than 300,000 times.

CNN just can’t seem to catch a break. After being caught creating fake news, according to cable ratings from the week of June 26 to July 2, CNN’s viewership ranked significantly lower than its competitors, such as Fox News and MSNBC. A careful look at the ranking showed CNN’s viewership that week was also below Home and Garden TV, USA Network, TBS Network, the History Channel, ESPN, the Discovery Channel, and Nick-At-Nite. It’s been trying to regain viewership since then.

Was CNN trying to use the dramatic rescue as a way to rescue its own falling ratings and to overcome the negatives from the interview the previous day? Is CNN now to be referred to as the “compromised cable network?”

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