CNN Issues Correction After Identifying Virginia Gov Northam As A Republican

Scott Morefield | Reporter

CNN incorrectly labeled Ralph Northam as a Republican during a segment showing the embattled Virginia governor apologizing for a 1984 medical school yearbook picture.

The segment, which aired during Friday night’s episode of “Anderson Cooper 360,” showed a chyron identifying Northam as an “R” as the network ran his Twitter apology.

CNN identifies Northam as a Republican (CNN screengrab, Caleb Hull Twitter)

(CNN screengrab, Caleb Hull Twitter)

The almost 35-year-old racist picture shows one individual wearing blackface and another wearing a KKK robe. Northam so far hasn’t clarified which one is him, but either way the Virginia governor has already lost the support of several key constituencies, with more likely to follow.

[Courtesy of Eastern Virginia Medical School]

“My fellow Virginians, earlier today I released a statement apologizing for behavior in my past that falls far short of the standard you set for me when you elected me to be your governor,” Northam wrote via a tweet that also included his on-air apology. “I believe you deserve to hear directly from me.”

That photo and the racist and offensive attitudes it represents does not reflect the person I am today or the way that I have conducted myself as a soldier, a doctor, and a public servant. I am deeply sorry. I cannot change the decisions I made, nor can I undo the harm my behavior caused then and today. But I accept responsibility for my past actions, and I am ready to do the hard work of regaining your trust. I have spent the past year as your governor fighting for a Virginia that works better for all people. I am committed to continuing that fight through the remainder of my term and living up to the expectations that you set for me when you elected me to serve. Thank you.

While Fox News reported that Cooper’s initial tweet of the segment included the error “without acknowledgement,” the CNN host has since removed the tweet and posted a correction on Saturday morning that included the correct chyron.

“A previous tweet had a video misidentifying Gov. Northam’s party affiliation, it has been removed and the video has been corrected,” Cooper wrote.

The network predictably received plenty of blowback for its error. (RELATED: Virginia Legislative Black Caucus Breaks Silence On Gov. Northam’s Yearbook Photo)


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