A viral video making the rounds on Friday appeared to show CNN reporter John King hastily hiding an ad for a pornography website from the election map, but it turns out to be fake. In the clip, anchor Wolf Blitzer sends the camera over to King, who stands in front of the massive 2020 presidential election map. A banner at the top clearly shows the "PornHub" logo, and with a suspicious look, King swipes the banner away.
"We've all been there with the betting app up on the screen... or something else..." one tweet with the video read. In subsequent posts, everyone from professional video editors to journalists had to debunk the clip, proving that the logo was added in for comic effect. Some viewers commented that it was still funny despite being fake, while a few critics said that it was a distraction from the election coverage at hand. For most, however, it was light-hearted fun.
"Did Twitter really need to flag this as manipulated media?" one person wrote with a slanty-mouthed emoji. Another wrote: "The PornHub CNN video is fake but it will live on as truth in my heart."
This video is just the latest in a growing genre of memes coming out of the 2020 presidential election and the live TV news coverage over the last four days. Many Americans were not prepared for the long wait for final results, although election officials have been warning for weeks that it would likely take this long. In their high-stress state, Twitter users are producing new self-referential memes at a pace that can be hard to keep up with.
There have been plenty of others centered around the news anchors themselves among the viral moments so far. One Vogue article this week described MSNBC correspondent Steve Kornacki as "Twitter's boyfriend this week." In another viral video, CNN anchor Pamela Brown was caught snapping her fingers at someone off-screen before they handed her a paper. Many users related to her short patience.
However, the light-hearted moments have generally been brief breaks from the more palpable anxiety, as Americans worry about which candidate will be elected. Moreover, many are worried about how that decision will be received by the nation at large, in part because President Donald Trump continues to cast doubt on the security of the election itself, despite having no evidence whatsoever. As early as Wednesday, Trump was publicly claiming that he had won the election, though there remained millions of ballots to count.
Depending on which state finishes counting mail-in ballots and provisional ballots first, the election could have a winner as soon as Saturday afternoon. CBS News has live updates available here.