By David Brandt | May 10th, 2012
It’s about time a reporter said “fucking nigger” on CNN.
Before you blow a gasket over my lede, let’s revisit this story: CNN reporter Susan Candiotti read the following on air as reportedly posted from the Facebook account of a shooting suspect in Tulsa, Okla.: “Today is two years that my dad has been gone, shot by a fucking nigger.”
The phrase was that of the suspect, not the words of Candiotti, who warned viewers about the offensive nature of the statement before she read it. Anchor Fredricka Whitfield apologized for the use of the phrase immediately following the report.
A little more than a week later, the Los Angeles Times published photos of U.S. troops posing with body parts of Afghan insurgents who reportedly blew themselves up by accident. The photos were given to the newspaper by a soldier in the 82nd Airborne Division and included images such as (from the story):
“Two soldiers posed holding a dead man’s hand with the middle finger raised. A soldier leaned over the bearded corpse while clutching the man’s hand. Someone placed an unofficial platoon patch reading ‘Zombie Hunter’ next to other remains and took a picture.”
Both of these media incidents drew criticism in the days that followed each one, raising questions about standards practiced by each news organization. In the case of CNN, according to the Poynter Institute, at least one critic suggested that the network was “ginning up a race war,” an opinion I personally believe to be utter garbage – history teaches us that no one ever benefited from a race war. Just ask the city of Los Angeles.