Was CNN right to apologize over caption on 'alt-right' antisemitism?

Firestorm erupts over US news network's screen caption on a segment on white supremacists questioning whether Jews are people.

November 22, 2016 14:50
1 minute read.
The CNN building (L) in Dubai Media City Park March 17, 2016.

The CNN building (L) in Dubai Media City Park March 17, 2016.. (photo credit: REUTERS/RUSSELL BOYCE)

CNN viewers are angry over a caption flashed on the screen during a segment on white supremacist groups which read “Alt-right founder questions whether Jews are people.

The segment was aired Monday on “The Lead,” which was being guest-hosted by Jim Sciutto.

The discussion with the CNN panelists included statements made over the weekend by Richard Spencer at an event of the white supremacist think tank the National Policy Institute. Spencer said of political commentators, after suggesting that the news media had been critical of presidential candidate Donald Trump in order to protect Jewish interests: “One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem.”

CNN said in a statement of the banner caption, called a chyron: “It was poor judgment and we very much regret it and apologize.”

Sciutto  referred to Spencer’s remarks as “hate-filled garbage,” and the rest of the panel also expressed disgust and horror after seeing a clip of Spencer’s remarks.

The Lead’s regular host, Jake Tapper, who was on vacation, criticized the chyron in several tweets, after receiving tweets from many angry fans.

“yes, I’m off this week and I’m furious about that chyron and my staff has heard from me. Unacceptable,” read one of Tapper’s tweets.

He also tweeted in response to a complaint that the alt-right was given a platform on CNN: “they were not given a platform. The chyron was, however, unacceptable and will not happen again.”

The tweets later seemed to have been deleted from Tapper's account.

Jpost.com Staff contributed to this report.

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