John Oliver mocks CNN's 'idiocy' after network mistakes black flag covered in sex toys for Isis flag

'That’s not the ISIS flag. That’s a flag with dildos and butt plugs all over it'

Heather Saul
Monday 29 June 2015 12:31 BST

British comedian John Oliver took a swipe at the “idiocy” of CNN after the news channel mistook a black flag covered in silhouettes of sex toys for the flag used by the Isis terror group at Pride celebrations in London.

CNN editor Lucy Pawle said she was leaving work when she spotted the “unnerving” sight of a man standing in the middle of the Pride parade waving a black flag on Regent Street.

She told the network: “This man, dressed in black and white, was waving what appears to be a very bad mimicry, but a very clear attempt to mimic the Isis flag.”

Ms Pawle proceeded to analyse the design, pointing out that it did not feature Arabic writing.

“I mean, if you look at the flag closely, it’s clearly not Arabic, in fact it looks like it could be gobbledegook, but it’s very distinctive, the Isis flag,” she added. “Anyway, I seem to be the only person who has spotted this, and nobody seems to be raising any questions or pointing it out.”

The network had the banner “Isis flag spotted at gay pride parade” displayed across the bottom of its rolling coverage for seven minutes and even brought in a terror expert to analyse the flag and its presence at the march.

Step forward Oliver, who felt compelled to point out that the flag was in fact an attempt at satire on his Last Week Tonight show. “I’ll tell you why they weren’t raising any questions,” he said. “That’s not the Isis flag. That’s a flag with dildos and butt plugs all over it.

"And yet, for more than seven spectacular minutes, CNN had it onscreen - even calling one of their ‘terrorism experts’ to try and figure out why Isis might be marching with the gay community through London, which did seem surprising.”

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