CNN Airs Wrong Photo Sandy Victim Lauren Abraham, Anderson Cooper Corrects

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CNN aired the above photo during its Oct. 31 coverage of Hurricane Sandy. The next day, Anderson Cooper issued a correction for the photo, saying it is not a photo of Lauren Abraham. (Credit: CNN, screenshot)

CNN aired the wrong photo of a New York woman killed during Hurricane Sandy this week. The network’s Anderson Cooper made an on-air correction during the Nov. 1 broadcast of his program Anderson Cooper 360.

Cooper said, according to the CNN transcript:

“We also want to correct a mistake we made last night while we were honoring the victims of the storm.

“One of the victims is Lauren Abraham, she was a makeup artist. We showed the wrong picture last night. We apologize for that. Police say Abraham was killed when she stepped on a downed power line outside her home in Queens.

“Lauren Abraham was just 23 years old. We honor her and all of those who lost their lives. For information about how you can help the victims, go to We’ll be right back.”

It appears this is the Oct. 31 segment in question (video).  The segment reported on some of “the victims and the survivors of Sandy.”  A Facebook search for “Lauren Abraham” produces the same photo CNN used, posted by a Lauren Abraham as a profile picture Oct. 3.

(The New York Times published a photo of a different woman identified as Abraham with its Oct. 30 report on the victims credited to “Elpidio Nunez.”)

iMediaEthics has written to CNN’s Bridget Leininger asking how CNN learned of its error, who the person in the photograph really is, and where the photograph came from, and will update with any response.

iMediaEthics wrote earlier this week about CNN’s corrections of its reports that the New York Stock Exchange was flooded with three feet of water because of Sandy. We also wrote about fake photos and old photos that were circulating with coverage of Sandy, including a September photo of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier that was being passed around as if it were from Oct. 29.

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CNN Airs Wrong Photo of Sandy Victim Lauren Abraham, Anderson Cooper Corrects

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