CNN apparently committed another faux pas in the past year or so in their continuing coverage of police brutality cases throughout the country, from Ferguson, Mo. to Baltimore.
CNN sparked another controversy its anchor, Erin Burnett, seemingly referred to a historically black Greek-lettered organization as “gang members.” The group that was sitting in camera view, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., is a sorority that’s part of a larger black Greek society that’s known as The Divine Nine.
Here is how the incident unfolded: it had been announced that, following the Baltimore riots, the notoriously violent and adversarial street gangs, Bloods and Crips, had halted their bloody feud and joined together to fight police brutality.
On Tuesday, as members of Zeta Phi Beta sat in preparation for a Baltimore Town Hall meeting that was hosted by Pastor Jamal Bryant, CNN anchor Burnett made references to “gang members” who were going to be in attendance.
The CNN camera was coincidentally scanning the inside of the building, on the portion of the auditorium where Zeta Phi Beta sorority were sitting, just as Burnett said this:
“… alright, reverend, thank you very much. Good luck with that town hall. We are moments away from the start of that town hall. As he said, you’ve got the gang members there, you’ve got about 500 people. It’s going to be contentious. It’s going to be angry. It’s going to be very important.”
Because the CNN camera was on the black sorority members when Burnett uttered the words “gang members there,” observers of the news station who happened to be African American and/or members of black Greek organizations became outraged.
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A few days later, Burnett offered a mea culpa for the unfortunate incident and insinuated that the episode was merely a coincidence rather than an ignorant mistake:
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Source: YouTube, CNN