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CNN Reporter Goes Too Far With Racial Slur - How Much Is Too Much?

by Sergio
April 9, 2012 11:25 AM
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CNN Whitfield

Every day there's something in the media that causes offense, but is this one that goes too far? Perhaps one of our regular commenters Nadine is on to something when, today, she said that American televison is trying to push this country into a "race war".

As proof, check out this CNN news report in which a reporter, covering the recent racially motivated shootings of several black people in Tulsa by two white men, utters a profanity, and an ugly racial slur.

Now to make clear, she's quoting a comment from the Facebook page by one of the men accused of the crimes. But was it really necessary for her to actually quote the offensive comment?

Other networks, who are covering the same crime, have all also mentioned the Facebook page without quoting the words directly.

And it's interesting that CNN anchor Fredricka Whitfield doesn't call out the reporter for using the offensive language. Who among any of you would have let that go by without saying something?

I'm sure that, by now, CNN has issued an official apology and is hoping it will be soon forgotten.

But what do you say? Is this totally out of bounds, or are people making a mountain out of a molehill?

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  • Nadine | April 11, 2012 11:39 AMReply

    Oh... and is this all really business as usual? "FOX STATION CALLS NEO-NAZI GROUP A CIVIL RIGHTS ORGANIZATION" - Let's take the blinders off folks...

  • Nadine | April 10, 2012 8:46 AMReply

    BTW - the following is another example of the increase in media race-baiting: - An article written by a Black woman, Luchina Fisher, on Bill Cosby statement on the Trayvon Martin's killing. 90% of the article is on Tawana Brawley...c'mon... Now the Yahoo! comments section is notorious for its racial hatred. This is NOT business as usual folks...somethings up...

  • Nadine | April 10, 2012 8:28 AMReply

    I'm sorry... is this post stirring things up or is every other news outlet that's been covering this story nationally and overseas stirring things up? Do you all even have a clue as to how this story is getting coverage? This thing of, "let's flip out on the negro for reporting on current events and call said negro out as race-war baiter because I don't know much of what's going on in the world because I'm too cool to keep tabs on how the media is manipulating weaker minded Americans" is not good folks. How could you be up on current events and NOT KNOW that this country is reaching a boiling point... Stay passive.

  • Micah | April 24, 2012 7:54 PM

    Nadine don't stress. You having an amazing amount of passion and resolution that is balanced by humility and wit. It all makes for a pleasurable combination.

  • Nadine | April 24, 2012 7:29 PM

    I don't know how I ended upon this page, but I sound like a beyotch! A "right" beyotch :)

  • CareyCarey | April 10, 2012 12:32 PM

    NO NO NO Nadine, you have to slow your roll on this one. Me think you have assumed a wee bit too much. Listen, you've surmised that anyone who questions Sergio motives is passive? I mean, is it right to infer that those who question Sergio's "reporting" style are unaware of the deluge of racially tinged news-shows? Besides, if you really believe Sergio was merely "reporting" and not intentionally stirring the pot (bowling for mess & controversy & hits) then you've obviously missed Sergio's style. And let's bring this home. Now that you've read Sergio's news flash and are tight and right, what ye gonna do now... that differs from those who didn't read Sergio's magnificant headsup? C'mon Nadine, apologies accepted :-)

  • VichusSmith | April 10, 2012 5:14 AMReply

    You know what's unacceptable? That you turn on 24 hour news channels every day and you allow them to manipulate you and pucsh your buttons, but real, honest language is what you have a problem with.

    You know what is unacceptable? That ANYONE is using the word nigger, black white, or whatever.

    You know what's unacceptable? If a black anchor had used this language, this page would not exists.

    It is acceptable language, because if you are watching the news, you are watching accounts of rape, robbery, racism, murder, arson, suicide, etc, and WORDS are what set you off? As people are starving and hoping for the economy to turn, you are in a temperature controlled house, watching news TV for way longer than a human being should, being outraged by words.

  • Micah | April 9, 2012 11:51 PMReply

    This irresponsible post does more to stir a "race war" then this reporter's comment. Which, while it does not do it that much, the post should give pause. If people took more tempered approaches to events, situations would escalate unnecessarily. We have too many RECKLESS provocateurs in our society and not enough cool heads asking questions with the intent of solving problems and helping. Anyone who posts regularly on a popular site has power and should wield that power carefully. This goes especially for someone I feel has good intentions.

  • Micah | April 10, 2012 11:25 AM

    I don't think Sergio is actually trying to stir up a race war but I do think he could be careful with the unique position of influence he has. I feel certain he wants things to improve.

  • CareyCarey | April 10, 2012 5:50 AM

    Micah, I wholeheartedly agree, hence my comment "I now nominate you [Sergio] for the official [position of] Racial mess starter of the year!"

  • T'Challa | April 9, 2012 8:19 PMReply

    @Neziah.. mad props for the KRS one quote.. he was right..

  • Neziah | April 9, 2012 5:36 PMReply

    Like the great KRS-One said in his song titled "The Racist", "If black and white didn't argue the most, they could clearly see the government's screwin' 'em both". This was another example of the media trying to get another race war started between whites and blacks. They did the same thing with the Trayvon Martin case by screwing with the evidence and the facts. When will people wake up?

  • star | April 9, 2012 5:28 PMReply

    I can't imagine him committing murder no not at all DRUGS YES but murder no. lol

  • Dr. Fran Kaplan | April 9, 2012 4:07 PMReply

    I personally find the euphemisms, like "N-word," problematic in reporting. Yes, these racial slurs are disgusting, and I think we should all be disgusted by them. Sidestepping them, covering them over, makes them seem less important, less hurtful than they are. Let's talk straight up about race and racism in this country; let's not paper over it. Until we own these disgusting remnants of the past, we'll never be able to create a truly enlightened country that lives up to her ideals of freedom and justice for all.

  • CareyCarey | April 9, 2012 1:42 PMReply

    Now Sergio, given the flavor of your most recent posts, which includes these gems--> "is American televison is trying to push this country into a "race war"... "How Much Is Too Much"... "Is America Ready For A Black Bachelor"... and "Will Fox Pull Neighborhood Watch?", I now nominate you for the official Racial mess starter of the year! Well, at the very least you're the official S&A "racial sh*tty mess starter" :-). Yeah, and that reminds me, I received an e-mail from one of your fellow Chicagoans. And I have a sneaky feeling that you were somewhere in the wings. Take a look at what Mr "J. A." said, "Someone from Shadow and Act knew about my book and wrote me to let me know about your project, can;t remember who, because I'm a writer and I do a lot with film I know lot of people at that site. I have a book coming out about the legacy of black minstrel performers, actors like Moore who were in all-black minstrel troupes who went on the influence black (and white) comedy and cshowbiz, and there's a lengthy chapter about Moore's A&A TV show". Uuuummm, he knows a lot of people at that site? But here's the kicker... in the e-mail he addressed me by my real name, not Carey. It's official Sergio, you are the babie's daddy and, you ARE racial enemy # 1. Seriously, having said all of that and when it's all said and done, this reporters comment was a non-issue.

  • CareyCarey | April 9, 2012 4:49 PM

    NADINE, re: "Google You" and "the content?", if I am reading you correctly, the man used a name that cannot be found in Google. But yes, the correspondence had much to do with the "content". Then again, I could be misunderstanding everything you said :-). However, make no mistake about it, I completely understood and understand your "hysteria" in that other thread. Well, I had assumed were it was coming from, but I was sure others may have taken it wrong. I mean, you blasted ol'girl (Haq) and I was like WHOA! I wasn't sure if the "punishment" fit the crime. Anyway, like you, I sit right in the heart of the "storms". In my work with those who find themselves battling the demon Drug & Alcohol Abuse and those coming directly out of the joint(and many right before they go in). While facilitating discussion groups and reading blogs, I also get so enraged at some of the hypocrisy, ambiguity, ambivalence and woefully incorrect claims directed at those in the "battle". I get that way because I believe in the adage "A lie or an untruth is one of the worst viruses known to mankind". Because if it, or they, go unchecked (not vehemently addressed), they will grow and fester like an unattended weed. Unfortunately, I've been known to take that mindset with me, regardless of where I am at or who I am talking to. Yeah, "I" and it (sometimes) gets really ugly at the wrong places and the wrong time :-).

  • Nadine | April 9, 2012 3:24 PM

    CAREY.. thanks for slowing my hysteria on the other board. Oh, and I think people can Google you and such... I think that's what people typically do with referrals unless the point was the content, maybe? I don't know... but you both provide us all a weekly dose of entertainment and are very clear on your respective beliefs so even when we don't believe in what you all might be saying for that day, we respect it. I'm sure this was a misunderstanding, whatever it was. I'm out. Oh, and what I think the difference is now with this reporters comment is that news outlets were very explicit about not stirring up the pot. News outlets made it their policy to NOT explicitly repeat such offenses. Eluding to, was just as good. Now, not so much. The Trayvon coverage, plenty of it, the Anderson Cooper reports on children and race, really stickin' it to White Americans... there is exploitation on one hand and propaganda on the other which might be easier for media watchers to see. There is definitely something going on in the media to stoke the politics of this country under Obama's administration be it for ratings or political ends... outey.

  • sergio | April 9, 2012 1:46 PM

    " ARE racial enemy # 1"

    Guilty as charged

  • Nadine | April 9, 2012 1:34 PMReply

    I done made it! the coveted S&A shout out, although today would not be the day given I just lost my mind on another posting regarding my fictive brothers, ahem.

  • Sergio | April 9, 2012 1:45 PM

    Take a bow

  • Micheal Wise | April 9, 2012 1:32 PMReply

    Here we go again with the hypocrisy. Note the murdrers aren't being castigated,but the reporter is for reporting the facts. Only confirms my beliefs in the so-called mainstream media.

  • shura | April 9, 2012 1:05 PMReply

    it was used in context, and not maliciously. It is what it is......don't attempt to make something bigger out of it....People speak this way in their own homes and don't think twice about it, and even speak it with viciousness in the music listened to. So, for this reporter to speak it in context because it was a vital point to make , nothing wrong with that. Next!!

  • Josh | April 9, 2012 1:03 PMReply

    No problem, its a quote. However it seems like a rookie mistake to drop an F bomb on national tv.

  • Deana | April 9, 2012 1:03 PMReply

    CNN reported ALL of the information for a reason. Local authorities are trying to say this was NOT a hate crime. If you think all it takes is the media to start a race war then you are fooling yourselves. It takes willing participants. This genocide has been going on in this country for ages. The media is finally showing that People of African decent are getting killed, instead of always being the ones depicted as the killers.

    Side note...WE need to stop calling each other N!&&%R and stop killing one another.

  • Jmac | April 9, 2012 12:49 PMReply

    We have guns, lots of practice using them, connections to international crime lords, and can back on world hate against white americans. I think we've been ready for the war, lol.

  • dean | April 9, 2012 12:39 PMReply

    I think that the reporter and the anchor both handled it properly. What I object to is the many African Americans who use the N word daily. You're either part of the solution or your part of the problem. They are part of the problem.

  • Nadine | April 9, 2012 3:09 PM

    Dean, was it you who I gaffed the "N-Word" video link from? Yes, I think you are... beautiful work, man... I sent it around... Have you tried to get S&A to post? The timing on this might be right -

  • Emmanuel | April 9, 2012 1:55 PM

    I agree with you 100%. It doesn't surprise me when they say it; hell, they made it up. But the fact that so many of our own excuse the fact that we say it to each other, that is what bothers me.

  • artbizzy | April 9, 2012 12:31 PMReply


  • Stagolee | April 9, 2012 11:49 AMReply

    I thought she handled that properly.

  • Darkan | April 9, 2012 11:48 AMReply

    Oh well... Black people are too busy "gettin paid" and "tryna come up" so why should they care at this point? Every time somebody lambasts another person in the past for pointing out something racist people say "calm down" and "lighten up." Jewish people, illegal immigrants and gays fight about racism issues harder than blacks do. Can't say that it wasn't funny on how she said it though. Unfortunately as time goes on it feels like to me that everyone who fought and died to change things for us and our future did it in vain. SMDH.

  • LeonRaymond | April 9, 2012 2:23 PM


    You have stated the one of scariest and saddest comments ever uttered , being of that age group of those who like you stated ,that fought hard to make a change. You have stated the truth "Unfortunately as time goes on it feels like to me that everyone who fought and died to change things for us and our future did it in vain" deeply sad but deeply true

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