CNN mistakes a flag made of sex toys for ISIS flag at gay pride parade

This CNN report on the gay pride parade in London belongs in the Hall of Fame of media stupidity. A breathless reporter on the scene described seeing an Islamic State flag and wondered why anyone would fly a banner that represented gay oppression.

Hollywood Reporter:

CNN International reporter Lucy Pawle called in to the network after spotting the flag.

She reported that a man dressed in black and white "was waving what appeared to be a very bad mimicry but what appeared to be a very clear attempt to mimic the ISIS flag, the black-and-white flag with the distinctive lettering."

But both Pawle and her CNN colleagues, including anchor Suzanne Malveaux, don't seem to notice that the flag actually consists of images of dildos and butt plugs, rendered in the style of ISIS. Even Pawle noted the writing on the flag wasn't in Arabic, adding "It looks like it could be gobbledegook. But it’s very distinctive, the ISIS flag.”

"I seem to be the only person who has spotted this, and nobody seems to be raising any questions," Pawle added, saying that neither event organizers nor the police knew about the flag. She suggested later that it might be a "subtle" joke.

"It was very subtle and us Brits known for our subtle sense of humor but I'm not sure that everyone, if they had spotted it, might have thought it was particularly amusing," Pawle added, with Malveaux saying, "it may be a parody."

Yeah, subtle. Whatever. But after hitting bottom with this report, CNN kept digging:

CNN also brought in national security analyst Peter Bergen for its "exclusive" report. Bergen seemed puzzled by the sight, saying that it's unclear who was waving the flag or what his motivations were and repeatedly noting that a gay-pride parade is a strange place to wave an ISIS flag given the group's anti-gay views.

Malveaux at one point wonders out loud if the flag could be a warning of a London attack: "This is our next location, this is our next attack," she suggests.

Omigod. Attack of the sex toys! Everybody close your legs and duck!

Making an ISIS flag out of sex toys is a coarse way to make a point that ISIS can shove it. But we've seen worse at gay pride parades here in the states, so let's not get too worked up at British gays.

Here's the CNN report:

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