The Origin of the ‘CNN Made a Godzilla Joke’ Rumor

By Alex Weprin 

An interesting meme spread across Twitter today, as rumors spread that an anchor on CNN made a joke about Godzilla while reporting on the earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan.

Ad Age’s Simon Dumenco has a roundup explaining the CNN/Godzilla meme, but we at TVNewser wanted to figure out, is it true?

The answer: No, but a CNN International reporter did say the scene looks like something out of a monster movie.

A search on Twitter for the term “CNN Godzilla” delivered thousands of results, but the first ones seemed to come shortly after 2 AM ET. A number of people tweeted that they thought they heard someone on CNN talking about Godzilla when discussing the earthquake.

TVEyes, a service which records and transcribes TV news segments, delivered zero results for “Godzilla” at any point today on both CNN and CNN International, but a manual search of CNN International around 2:15 AM did deliver what may be the report that started the rumor:

The CNNI anchor (Update: CNN says it was Rosemary Church) was speaking to a correspondent in Japan (Update: It was not a CNN correspondent, but rather an eyewitness), who said the following:

“I think the footage we are seeing largely, of these waves of debris, it is almost like a monster movie. Seeing this stuff wiping out entire sections of coastline.”

The correspondent did not say it jokingly, and went on to explain in detail how potentially devastating the tsunami could be.

The timeline matches up perfectly with the results on Twitter, and it is understandable that some people could have taken his statement the wrong way.

Of course, we could be wrong. If anyone has video of the supposed CNN/Godzilla joke, send it our way.