CNN denies airing 30 minutes of hardcore porn

Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown takes on an entirely new meaning

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The Independent Culture

CNN denied airing 30 minutes of inappropriate content on Thursday night after initially blaming local cable television provider RCN for the mishap, the network clarified on Friday.

"The RCN cable operator in Boston aired inappropriate content for 30 minutes on CNN last night,” the network said in their original statement. “CNN has asked for an explanation."

Two hours later, CNN took the side of the East Coast cable provider and sent The Independent the following statement: "Despite media reports to the contrary, RCN assures us that there was no interruption of CNN’s programming in the Boston area last night."

Viewers apparently tuned in for a new episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown and the show took on an entirely new meaning when it was replaced with explicit material starring transsexual pornstar Riley Quinn. The adult film star eventually thanked the network for the reportedly free airtime.

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@Solikearose/Twitter

Jeff Carlson, senior VP and general manager of RCN Boston, also told Variety that the company was researching the incident but saw “no evidence” that their CNN feed was compromised in Boston.

The allegations began with one viewer publicly complaining about the mishap on Twitter and posting multiple NSFW images of the on-air pornography online.

“I can't wait until [RCN] wakes up [tomorrow and] realizes that hardcore porn was broadcast on [CNN] instead of [Parts Unknown] tonight,” user @Solikearose wrote.

“Did anyone else with RCN in Boston see the hardcore porn that was broadcast by CNN by mistake?” the user asked on Twitter. “Vague update from RCN on the #BourdainPorn incident: everything 'working perfectly,' can’t tell how many households affected.”

The user, only identified as Rose, later spoke with BuzzFeed News regarding the entire ordeal. “I initially posted because I wanted to see if anyone else in Boston had been affected,” the used explained on Friday. “I think it was a broadcasting error that affected only my house.”

But after the story became widely reported, the user began receiving abusive messages from people accusing her of perpetrating a widely circulated hoax, and she has since made her account private.

However, she still insists that she did not fabricate her story. “I can tell you that it’s real,” she continued. “People [accused] me of faking the story and creepy men sending me dick pics and sexual messages.”

On Friday, RCN responded to the complainant on Twitter, asking the user to share their personal information. "We have not had any reports of the programming issue you mentioned on CNN in Boston,” the company wrote. “If you're still having an issue with that channel, please DM us your address so we can troubleshoot when you're home."

RCN serves nearly 300,000 subscribers in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington DC. Earlier this year, the service provider was acquired for $1.6 billion by the private investment firm TPG.

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While the service provider would likely be responsible for the apparent mishap, it isn't the greatest look for CNN. The network recently came under fire after running a headline that included the phrase “If Jews Are People.”