CNN criticized for not identifying women on panel as Trump supporters

CNN is getting heat from critics who are accusing the network of misleading viewers by identifying a group of women who are members of a pro-Trump group as just “Republicans” in a recent segment.

As The Washington Post’s media reporter Paul Farhi pointed out in an article on Thursday, the CNN segment in question, which aired earlier this week, features a group of women who are members of the Trumpettes of America 2019 Palm Beach Team. 

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The segment, which was led by correspondent Randi Kaye, focused on the women’s reactions to comments made by President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump says he doesn't want NYT in the White House Veterans group backs lawsuits to halt Trump's use of military funding for border wall Schiff punches back after GOP censure resolution fails MORE over the weekend, in which he told four lawmakers of color to “go back” to their home countries.

But critics have taken issue with CNN’s failure to identify the women’s affiliations with pro-Trump efforts.

“These eight Republican women from Dallas don’t see anything wrong with President Trump telling four Democratic congresswomen to go back where the came from,” Kaye could be heard saying at the start of the segment.

The segment then proceeded to show reactions to Trump’s comments from the eight women, each of whom echoed similar defenses of the president. 

“He was saying that if they hate America so much — because what we’re seeing out of them and hearing out of them, they hate America,” Dena Miller said, one of the panelists said. “If it’s so bad, there’s a lot of places they can go.” She asserted that the four congresswomen “don’t like white people. Come on! They’re racist.”

“We know the president is not racist. He loves people, from Hispanics, black people, all across the board,” another panelist, Cami Dean, said.

Panelist Gina O’Briant similarly defended the president while also taking shots at the four minority congresswomen for “inciting hatred and division.”

Farhi pointed out CNN’s failure to also note several other appearances made by the women on CNN, in which they similarly defended Trump in other instances of controversy. 

“As a result, the segment left the impression that CNN had assembled a panel reflecting a cross-section of opinion from Republican women about the crossfire between Trump and four freshmen Democratic congresswomen of color,” Farhi writes. 

A number of people on Twitter also pointed out the same in viral tweets.

Edward Wasserman, the dean of the University of California at Berkeley journalism school, also blasted the segment in an interview with the Post, calling it “a fraud on the viewer” and suggested CNN’s omission of the women’s affiliation with a pro-Trump effort was an attempt to mask its program as “something that looks like balance.”

Meanwhile, Fred Brown, a member of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Code of Ethics Committte, told the paper that “it doesn’t seem to me to be a conscious attempt to conceal anything” and just called the segment “incomplete reporting.” 

“I don’t see any good reason for CNN not to identify the affiliation of these women,” he also said. “It’s a useful bit of information to help viewers evaluate the women’s motivation and mind-set.”