Paul Coombs describes himself on Twitter as “multi-media dildo obsessive,” which is fitting because he allegedly created the ISIS parody flag that tricked CNN’s Lucy Pawle at last weekend’s Pride parade in London. Coombs wrote a first-hand account of the situation for The Guardian and isn’t a fan of the network.
The column starts out with Coombs explaining that he “spent the morning of London’s Pride parade hand-stitching dildos onto a flag.” He wanted to make the parody flag in an attempt to “try and stimulate a dialogue about the ridiculousness of this ideology.”
Coombs eventually notes that “three policemen held out the flag and inspected it, grinning, acknowledging immediately that these were definitely dildos and butt plugs. They explained that they were getting reports that a man was carrying an Isis flag through the streets, a misconception that could easily put me in danger. They asked if I would keep the flag concealed. So I put it away.”
Then Coombs gets to the part about CNN:
Several hours passed before I noticed spreading news that CNN reported on the flag as though it was an actual Isis banner, not a piece of cloth covered in sex toys. #DildoIsis quickly started trending online. People made tribute dildo flags. But how could a report so hysterical and so clearly false possibly get onto the air, discussed by a terrorism expert? CNN correspondent Lucy Pawle described my flag as a “very bad mimicry” but the only bad mimicry I could see was CNN’s impression of a reputable news organization. What does this say about every other report that they broadcast? And why have they not mentioned it since? They seem to think that if nobody says anything about it then it can’t have really happened.