A representative from Ruptly contacted CNA shortly after the story published, requesting that CNA change its characterization of Ruptly as "Russia-controlled."
The representative told CNA that Ruptly is an "entirely commercially-run, international news agency" that is based in Berlin and "wholly independent of any government."
But Ruptly's sole shareholder is ANO TV Novosti, a non-profit organization funded by the Russian government and which the U.S. Department of Justice has designated as a Russian government entity. Information on Ruptly's ties to Russia is readily available and widely known.
CNA asked the Ruptly representative whether its financial ties to the Russian government make the characterization "Russia-controlled" appropriate. The representative told CNA again that Ruptly is a commercial entity that answers its CEO and its editorial team, "which is made up of 42 different nationalities."
"Their role in this capacity is to deliver top-quality, neutral reporting on a diverse range of news items from around the world, according to the demands of Ruptly's clients," the representative said in an email.
The representative declined to comment directly on the question of Ruptly ties to Russia.
Ruptly's characterization and promotion of the video may be part a broader disinformation campaign. It was at least misleading and incendiary, not meeting ordinary ethical standards for journalism. But it is not the only storytelling that raises questions.
The NY Times account also deserves scrutiny. The Times analysis argued that the Bible burning was merely an overblown, isolated incident.
"A few protesters among the many thousands appear to have burned a single Bible - and possibly a second - for kindling to start a bigger fire. None of the other protesters seemed to notice or care," the NY Times said.
But it seems clear from the videotape that whoever set the first Bible alight intended to make a statement. One protestor standing around the burning Bible removed her mask and blew on the flames performatively, making a show of warming her hands from the fire's heat.
"Best use of a Bible ever," an unseen voice comments as the flames rise.
(Story continues below)
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As the first Bible slowly burns, another voice can be heard saying: "Hey, there's more free Bibles over there."
"We need another Bible," another voice says a few minutes later. "Let's keep this s*** going," another shouts.
Protestors later added several American flags, newspapers, a pizza box, and twigs to the fire, and chanted vulgar slogans, including "F*** the Police."
The Times' analysis reports that "there [was] no discernible reaction from the crowd as the [second] book is put in the flames along with twigs and branches, notebook pages and newspapers." This is not true.
As the second Bible is ripped apart by a masked protester and added to the flames, a voice on the videotape can be heard saying clearly "A Bible, yeah!" in approval. There are also several excited whoops, and even a cry of "Hail, Satan."
Yellow-clad members of the group Moms United for Black Lives Matter went over to the fire and put it out with bottles of water and stamping around 1 am, according to the KOIN6 report.