CNN airs banner that says: “Alt-right founder questions if Jews are people”
Years ago I made the wise decision to stop watching CNN, and my life’s been better because of it. For reason number 1,457 I don’t watch CNN, I present to you a chyron that read, “Alt-right Founder Questions If Jews Are People,” during a segment on Monday’s The Lead with Jake Tapper. Yes, you read that right. Cable News Network ran neo-Nazi language and no one thought it was a bad idea until it was too late.
Because Donald Trump news will never go away now (look what you’ve done white America), CNN’s Jim Sciutto discussed Trump’s transition with two media correspondents and asked if Trump should disavow racist alt-right groups, specifically its founder — Richard Spencer. (Not sure why we’re still calling white nationalists “alt-right,” but I digress.) Spencer once said, “One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem.” The problem wasn’t Sciutto quoting Spencer’s “hate-filled garbage.” It was the chyron across the bottom of the screen during the entire segment that caused a justifiable uproar.
How does Nazi language end up on-air? Sloppy writers, producers, and likely a lack of diversity in the newsroom. Not a single person stepped in to say, “Hey, guys. Maybe this banner on the screen isn’t a good idea.” And that’s a real tragedy.
As with everything, Twitter was on it immediately. Responses ranged from people demanding an apology, to Jews proclaiming they are indeed real people. Although Sciutto referred to alt-right supporters as “unabashed racists and anti-Semites,” the damage was already done. No one is talking about Sciutto calling the racism what it is because CNN allowed an ill-informed chyron live on-air.
Once host Jake Tapper got wind of CNN’s massive screw up, he tweeted that he was on vacation and the chyron was unacceptable. “I’m off today but that chyron is unacceptable and I immediately called my staff to convey that,” he wrote. When a Twitter user responded that “I’m off today” was unnecessary, Tapper replied, “The chyron was abhorrent and I am trying to deal with it. Obviously I take responsibility but my being off is not irrelevant.”
Sciutto agreed with Tapper. “I agree with @jaketapper fully however that the banner – which we don’t write from the chair – was out of line,” he tweeted. A CNN spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter, “It was poor judgment and we very much regret it and apologize.” Poor judgment? You don’t say!
This is now the time I remind everyone it has only been two weeks since the election, and we have four years of this garbage to endure.