CNN sees Twitter backlash over 'if Jews are people' headline crawl
CNN saw swift backlash from the media and viewers over an on-screen message that aired on Monday's The Lead With Jake Tapper.
During a segment on President-elect Donald Trump's transition, CNN's Jim Sciutto spoke with two media correspondents about alt-right leader Richard Spencer and whether Trump needs to formerly denounce and disavow alt-right groups.
Sciutto quoted Spencer, the president of The National Policy Institute who coined the term "alt-right," and described his words as "hate-filled garbage" against Jews. Spencer's quote read, "One wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem."
The issue Twitter users had, however, was with the chyron at the bottom of the screen throughout the segment, which read: "Alt-right founder questions if Jews are people."
Politico's Hadas Gold tweeted, "*pinches self* i'm real! i'm a person!" and The Hill's Jordan Fabian shared a screen grab with the words, "Come on."
Another user posted: "Just b/c some idiot says it doesn't mean you put it on the chyron."
See more from social media about this story:
During the segment, guest host Sciutto referred to Spencer's supporters as "unabashed racists and anti-Semites" and the correspondents, Real Clear Politics' Rebecca Berg and The Boston Globe's Matt Viser, discussed how Trump's controversial appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist has only inflamed the alt-right conversation.
"I think the challenge for Trump and his team moving forward," said Berg, "is going to be to assure people that people on the alt-right, white nationalists, do not have a voice in the Trump administration and do not have a place in the policies that they will be crafting when he is president. And I haven't really seen those signals from them yet."
She continued, "Part of this is also political calculation. They've found that they need these people in their coalition to succeed, so can they disown them and cleanse their coalition of these people?"
Host Jake Tapper, who was on vacation, later commented on the chyron, calling it "unacceptable" and "abhorrent."
Sciutto also took to Twitter to say he agreed with Tapper and that the banner, "which we don't write from the chair - was out of line."
A spokesperson for CNN told The Hollywood Reporter: "It was poor judgment and we very much regret it and apologize."