Many Twitter users voiced outrage and disappointment that CBS decided not to include any African-American digital reporters on its team that will cover the 2020 presidential election.
CBS News announced on Thursday that it assembled its 2020 election team, tweeting headshots of the digital journalists and associate producers who were expected to travel across the nation to cover the candidates running for president.
“With 2020 poised to be the most historic election of our lifetime, we were thrilled to see unprecedented interest in joining the political unit this cycle,” said Caitlin Conant, CBS News political director. “Our stellar team of political embeds and associate producers is second to none and will be at every event — in every state– giving our viewers an up-close look at the campaign trail along the way to the White House.”
Lots of people noticed that CBS failed to assign at least one African-American journalist to its lineup of eight reporters and four associate producers.
This comes against the backdrop of more racial controversy erupting in Washington and raised the question of how effective CBS can cover racism issues without at least one African-American voice on its team.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) urged House Republicans to remove Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican, from further committee assignments after he defended white supremacy, the Huffington Post reported.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive? Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?” he asked the New York Times on Thursday.
King has a history of making racist comments. Only a few voices in the Republican Party criticized him, but King has again escaped punishment from the GOP.
“Like Donald Trump, Steve King has sought again and again to give comfort to white supremacists, something that should never be allowed in the halls of Congress or the Oval Office” California’s Democratic Rep. Karen Bass, CBC chairwoman, said in the statement.
New York’s Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was part of the chorus criticizing CBS.
“This WH admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have, yet [CBS News] hasn’t assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election. Unacceptable in 2019. Try again,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday.
Here’s what other Twitter users said about CBS’ lineup of journalists:
News organizations with no black people around, or Latinx folks, etc. generally are clueless about reporting on said groups. Hard to believe there’s still a need for these conversations in 2019.— David A. Love (@davidalove) January 13, 2019
Looking for the people that look like me pic.twitter.com/3KPIY3bzOw— Black Women Are The Shit!!! (@Spanky2345) January 12, 2019
Same here regarding Face the Nation.I will be dropping the morning show if this 2020 situation doesn’t change. NOTHING jumped out when the ‘deciders’ saw this final lineup?— Weave Bundle 🧬 (@inthespring6) January 13, 2019
This “team” does not look like this country.— J. Williams Burns (@TursulowePress) January 13, 2019
They know how it important it is because we built this country! They just dont want to hear from us because our experiece truly proves how full of shit the system really is!— Ashley Rae Bell Hooks🏁 (@AshleyRaeBrand) January 13, 2019