CNN Suspends Reporter Over Tweet on Refugees

Crystal James | ANTIMEDIA

“Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.”

Your tweets can compromise your career, which CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott just learned the hard way. CNN confirmed to Politico that Labott has received a two-week suspension for the following tweet sent out Thursday: “House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.” Along with her comment, she posted a link to the CNN article discussing the bill. Since it was posted, the tweet has had over 3,000 retweets and close to 5,000 favorites, along with a plethora of comments.

Some responses on the thread support Labott’s stance.

“I couldn’t agree more. Keep fighting,” one individual tweeted.

Another person expressed their disappointment with her suspension. “CNN reporter @eliselabottcnn was suspended for this tweet. Expressing basic morality is impermissible and punishable,” they wrote.

There was also a slew of negative responses:

“U r unamerican if u [sic] think these syrians [sic] are really refugees. Unamerian and stupid,”  read one.

“You were not right. The house [sic] vote was to protect our country!” scolded another.

Hours after Labott’s initial tweet, she tweeted an apology for her “inappropriate and disrespectful” comment.

Do you believe that as Labott’s employer, CNN should have the authority to censor a journalist who voices an opinion in a public forum? Or do you believe CNN should adhere to principles of free speech and allow information—including opinion—to be distributed in the spirit of intellectual discourse? Do you feel this benign comment warranted an apology? Should Ms. Labott have had to bow to the pressure to recant her original comment?

Should we allow the age of social media to become the modern age of censorship?


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