Jim Bates Accuses CNN of Lying About Puerto Rico Relief Efforts-Unproven!
Summary of eRumor:
A Facebook post from a man named Jim Bates claims that CNN has lied about Hurricane Maria relief efforts in Puerto Rico and that the people of Puerto Rico are getting help,
Jim Bates doesn’t make any specific claims about CNN lying about Puerto Rico relief efforts that can be fact-checked, so we’re calling these claims “unproven.”
The post appeared at Jim Bates’ personal Facebook page on September 30, 2017. Within days, it had been shared nearly 900,000 times within days as President Trump and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz debated the U.S. relief efforts publicly.
Again, Jim Bates doesn’t make any specific accusations about how CNN “lied” in their coverage of Puerto Rico relief efforts that can be fact-checked. Bates also doesn’t provide any proof that the people of Puerto Rico are getting the help that they need.
Later, Bates posted photos showing smiling relief workers with the caption, “Voluntary Ministers with the Army and FEMA.” Those photos depict members of the Church of Scientology’s Volunteer Ministers, an arm of the church that does humanitarian outreach. The photos also appeared at the Scientology Volunteer Ministers Facebook community page.
Given that Jim Bates works as an executive secretary at the Church of Scientology in Puerto Rico, it isn’t necessarily a surprise that he posted those photos, either. Bates’ LinkedIN page states that he has held the position since January 2000.
And it should also be noted that Jim Bates has ties to Russian Facebook groups. Bates belongs to 21 public groups, and eight of them have titles written in Russian Cyrillic script. Roughly translated into English, the groups have names like “Employee as Part of a Team,” “Slimming Course,” “Club of Fans of Sports Shooting from Pneumatic Weapon,” and “Our Favorite Animals.” Given Russia’s attempts to meddle in U.S. politics and elections, Bates’ affiliation with Russian Facebook groups raises questions. However, we can’t draw any conclusions based on the random nature of these groups.
In the end, Jim Bates doesn’t make any specific accusations about CNN’s media coverage, or Hurricane Maria relief efforts in general, so we’re calling this one “unproven.”