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CNN, which often dedicates wall-to-wall coverage for any latest controversy from President Trump, virtually avoided covering Joe Biden‘s “you ain’t black” remarks Friday morning that sparked backlash throughout the day.
The presumptive Democrat nominee sparked a firestorm on Friday during an interview with Charlamagne tha God on the radio show “The Breakfast Club” as he defended his record with the black community.
“I tell you if you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black,” Biden said.
Later in the afternoon, Biden walked back those remarks during a conversation with black business leaders, stopping short of a full apology.
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“I’ve never ever taken the African-American community for granted, had their support … I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy. I shouldn’t have been so cavalier,” Biden later said. “I don’t take it for granted at all, and no one, no one should have to vote for any party, based on their race or religion or background.”
Still, Biden’s remarks dominated the conversation on social media with the hashtags #YouAintBlack and #JoeBidenIsARacist trending on Twitter.
Fox News and MSNBC covered the dust-up throughout the day. ABC News, CBS News and NBC News all addressed the controversy on their evening programs.
However, CNN’s lack of coverage throughout the day was called out by critics.
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“Fascinating to watch how the left-leaning cable networks have covered Biden’s ‘you ain’t black’ comment. MSNBC has discussed it nearly every hour… CNN hasn’t mentioned it once,” former CNN digital producer-turned-media critic Steve Krakauer tweeted.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley pointed out the “crickets” coming from CNN. In the afternoon, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called out the network for going hours without mentioning the controversy.
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“It’s been over 5 HOURS since Biden told Black people they ‘ain’t black’ if they support @realDonaldTrump. How many times has CNN mentioned his bigoted comment on air? ZERO. Unreal,” McDaniel tweeted.
“When you take into account how both MSNBC covered this repeatedly and Biden decided to issue a mea culpa, you’re left with no conceivable excuse for CNN other than they did so on purpose,” NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News. “Instead, they decided that trashing the administration for allowing houses of worship to reopen and gleefully touting negative hydroxychloroquine headlines were jobs one and two.”
Houck continued: “CNN has their insane way of going about their newsgathering, presentation and selection, but ignoring a story like this for hours and hours reminds us that their demands that other news organizations act like they do should not only be dismissed but laughed out of the room.”
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CNN didn’t offer a full on-air report of Biden’s remarks until the end of the 7 p.m. ET hour, when anchor Erin Burnett spoke with Charlamagne tha God about the interview, making it the last major news network to report on Biden’s comments. It had articles published on the website earlier in the day.
Instead, the network spent much of the day offering critical coverage of the Trump administration’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak.
Jordan Chariton, co-founder of the progressive media outlet Status Coup, said CNN’s lack of coverage of the controversy is because the network “has been in the tank for Biden for over a year.”
“They dragged their feet on many stories related to him including him lying on being arrested in apartheid South Africa on his way to meeting Nelson Mandela,” Chariton told Fox News. “Outlets like CNN are protectors of the status quo and as such, they will always try and cover up bad stories for candidates like Biden rather than cover and challenge him.”
This isn’t the first time CNN’s on-air coverage has raised eyebrows. On Thursday, CNN bizarrely spent over 100 minutes covering President Trump’s refusal to wear a mask at the Ford plant. Meanwhile, the network spent just 15 minutes combined from Monday through Thursday covering the growing nursing-home controversy plaguing Democrat New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
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A CNN insider told Fox News that while Trump should have worn the mask, the network is putting an undue emphasis on “what’s not important.”
“I don’t know why they focus on things like this when there are certainly more important things to focus on,” the network source said.
The insider knocked CNN, suggesting that if Trump found the cure for the coronavirus without wearing a mask, him not wearing the mask would become “the story” on the network.
Cuomo has largely gotten a pass from CNN, as the network has largely refrained from airing critical coverage of the Democrat governor. On Wednesday, he appeared for his 10th interview with his brother, “Cuomo Prime Time” anchor Chris Cuomo.
As in previous interviews, the CNN anchor made no mention of the growing death toll in New York nursing homes. Yet, he did manage to squeeze in some prop comedy, mocking the governor’s televised coronavirus test examination with overly-sized cotton swabs while poking fun at the size of his nose.
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“CNN’s coverage of Andrew Cuomo has been consistent with much of the media: focus on the glowing verbiage and ignore the catastrophic mishandling of nursing homes that led to thousands of deaths,” Cornell Law School professor and media critic William A. Jacobson told Fox News.
“This problem is compounded by a serious conflict of interest arising from the relationship between Chris Cuomo, one of CNN’s highest-profile news personalities, and his brother the governor,” Jacobson added. “Chris Cuomo should not be allowed to cover or comment on air about his brother, and CNN should appoint someone to monitor and review coverage of Andrew Cuomo to prevent this conflict of interest from bleeding over to other news coverage.”
Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday that Cuomo’s failed nursing-home policy should be “one of the biggest” stories of the year after both of her parents-in-law lost their lives to the coronavirus.
“I have not seen the coverage of this,” an emotional Dean said. “Twenty percent of our lost loved ones are from nursing homes … because Governor Cuomo and several other governors forced COVID-recovering patients into nursing homes.”
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Dean, who rarely comments on political issues, felt compelled to speak out after watching Wednesday night’s CNN interview between the two playful Cuomo brothers.
“The fact that I am seeing, last night, him … making fun, inappropriate jokes and insensitive jokes, cruel jokes … make no mistake,” Dean said, “I am glad that Chris Cuomo has recovered from COVID because he apparently did have it. And I’m glad that their family is well, but my family is not well. And that is not something to joke about.”
Fox News’ Brian Flood, Yael Haron, Paul Steinhauser, Madeleine Rivera and Allie Raffa contributed to this report.
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