CNN removes story about hormones affecting a woman's vote

The post by Elizabeth Landau, published Wednesday afternoon, summarized unpublished research that alleged a woman's voting behavior was affected by whether she was ovulating on Election Day. The findings were quickly questioned.

The original story (republished here in full) has been replaced by an editor's note that reads:

A post previously published in this space regarding a study about how hormones may influence voting choices has been removed.

After further review it was determined that some elements of the story did not meet the editorial standards of CNN.

We thank you for your comments and feedback.

In an email to Poynter, Matt Dornic, senior director of public relations for CNN Worldwide, repeated the official statement above then said:

However, it’s worth noting that the post in question did not channel through the standard internal process and it was not reviewed by senior editorial staff before appearing on As recognized by our leadership, audience and critics, the piece did not meet the journalistic standards of CNN and should not have appeared on our site. We had an obligation to remove it.

I've also asked Landau about the publishing and unpublishing process.

Landau's Twitter bio describes her as a CNN reporter in Atlanta covering health & science. Her LinkedIn page says she's been at CNN since March 2008. She interned before that at CNN and for Dow Jones, according to the same page. A Creative Loafing profile says she received a journalism degree from Columbia University and wrote a novel while an undergrad at Princeton.

CNN's decision to unpublish the story renews attention to the ethical implications of unpublishing -- and the alternatives to it. Poynter's Kelly McBride hosted a live chat about this topic.


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