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Former Anchor Accuses CNN Of Bias

 

 

Carole SimpsonOAKLAND, CA - Pioneering former ABC News anchor Carole Simpson used an appearance on CNN's "Reliable Sources" media program Sunday to challenge CNN on its lack of prime-time African American hosts.

"I am a guest of CNN, and I'm happy to be here, but I have to criticize your cable network," she told host Howard Kurtz. "After Tony Harrisgoes off at I guess about 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon, there are no African-Americans who are hosting any programs on CNN.

"I can't believe that the Campbell Brown job came open and Eliot Spitzer, a disgraced public figure, gets a show. And what is — where isDon Lemon? Where is T.J. Holmes? Where's Fredericka Whitfield? All in the — on the weekends where I was as well. Lester Holt is on the weekend.

"KURTZ: Right.

"SIMPSON: Yes, weekends are the ghetto. They used to call it when I worked, because there were black correspondents on and black producers, world news — 'black world news tonight Sunday on ABC.'

"KURTZ: That's pretty cutting. I had not heard that."

Simpson continued a few minutes later, "Let me tell you something I was told when I was doing local news in Chicago. I was anchoring on the weekends. I've always anchored on the weekends. And I was told that it was OK.

"I said, 'Why can't I fill in on — during the daytime, during the week?" And I was told that white people don't like to hear news from black people during the week. Weekends were OK.

"I mean, literally told me that. And it's like, you know, what study did you come up with to point that out to me?"

Eric Deggans, media critic of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times, wrote Monday on his blog, "Given that CNN is example Number One of the problem, I give Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz props for tackling the question of why no anchors of color have surfaced to lead top shows in prime time on cable news Sunday on his CNN media analysis show, Reliable Sources. [F]or the discussion, he tapped me, former ABC News anchor Carole Simpson and pundit Amy Holmes, all black people.

"At the same time, when Howard turned to talk about the Shirley Sherrod case — a week-long scandal where media, race tension and political conflict came together in one toxic stew — the panel who kicked around the issue had no people of color on it at all. So it was ironic to have a discussion about 'ghettoizing' anchors of color on a show where the experts of color seemed limited to talking about diversity in media."


The Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education | 663 Thirteenth St., Suite 200, Oakland, CA 94612 | (510) 891-9202 



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