CNN was connected to an embarrassing fumble in its reporting on activities in Ferguson, Mo.
Missouri state police officer Capt. Ron Johnson, who famously took over command of Ferguson police operations, has taken several photos with community folk while throwing a hand sign that has been misreported as a gang sign by an individual who posted iReport who posted on CNN (It was mistakingly reported that a CNN reporter called Johnson a gang member when it was a non-employee who produced the error).
Capt. Johnson is a member of the black Greek Fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi.
Washington Post’s Soraya Nadia McDonald had to educate the public that his hand sign – three fingers up with pointer and thumb pinched together – represents his college frat:
“Capt. Johnson is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi, a black fraternity that was formed in 1911 at Indiana University in Bloomington, and the hand sign you see in the pictures below is a Kappa greeting. The Kappas are part of the Divine Nine or the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the nine historically black fraternities and sororities that include Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Kappa Alpha, Alpha Phi Alpha, Omega Psi Phi, Phi Beta Sigma, Zeta Phi Beta, Sigma Gamma Rho and Iota Phi Theta, none of which are gangs.”
This was the second major faux pas connected to CNN in the past week. A few days ago, an anchor ignorantly asked on live television why Ferguson police don’t use water cannons on the protesters instead of tear gas and rubber bullets, as if a water hose was the better option.
A CNN iReport post apparently helped spread the false story about Capt. Johons, and after a long while, CNN’s post seems to have been taken down, reports Salon.com.
Here are a few of the reactions to the mis-reporting on Capt. Johnson: