When Tulsa police arrested two men Sunday in connection with a shooting spree that targeted African-Americans, much of the media drew attention to a racist Facebook post apparently written by one of the suspects. But CNN’s unusually explicit on-air description of the post raised eyebrows and renewed a debate about how journalists report on hateful speech.
The post was written by murder suspect Jake England, who along with his roommate confessed to an apparently random series of shootings that left three people dead and two wounded. On Facebook, England lamented the violent death of his own father two years ago and referred to his father’s killer with a vulgar adjective and a racial slur.
“There was a Facebook posting made just the other day,” CNN correspondent Susan Candiotti said Sunday, as she reported live from Tulsa. “Please excuse the language; it’s very sensitive: Shot by a f****** n*****.” (Candiotti spoke the full words; unedited video is available here.)
Candiotti’s report marked the second time in three weeks that a CNN reporter quoted the racial epithet during news coverage. Read more