On Dec. 12, anchor Chris Wallace announced his departure from Fox News. That same day, CNN published a press release announcing Wallace was joining CNN+, the network’s streaming service.
Wallace’s show hasn’t premiered yet, but some social media users say it’s already a flop with viewers.
“Chris Wallace’s first show on CNN received the lowest ratings in cable news history,” reads text in a Dec. 27 Facebook post.
The post gathered more than 4,700 interactions within two days. Similar versions of the claim have received hundreds more.
But CNN told USA TODAY that Wallace’s show hasn’t aired yet. The former Fox News anchor will join CNN+ in 2022.
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USA TODAY reached out to several Facebook users who shared the claim for comment.
Two CNN spokespeople told USA TODAY the claim in the post is wrong.
“Chris Wallace’s show has not premiered yet,” Matt Dornic, head of strategic communications for CNN Worldwide, said in an email. “It will be available on CNN+, our streaming service that is launching in 2022.”
Emily Kuhn, senior director for CNN+, said in an email that, since Wallace’s show will debut on a streaming service, it will not have traditional television ratings.
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The claim seems to have originated from an article published on the satirical website BustaTroll.org. The site is part of America’s Last Line of Defense, which describes itself as a network of parody and satire.
The Facebook post is an example of what might be called stolen satire, where stories written as satire and presented that way originally are reposted in a way that makes them appear to be legitimate news. As a result, readers of the second-generation post are misled, as was the case here.
Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim that Chris Wallace’s “first show on CNN” received record-low ratings. Wallace’s show has not premiered yet, and when it does, it won’t receive traditional ratings like cable news shows. The claim appears to stem from a satirical website.
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