Showing an old family photo of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, retouched to remove the now-controversial logo of a football team from his son’s hat, has raised questions about CNN’s commitment to ‘facts first’.
A photo of Biden holding one of his young sons had been posted online by the candidate back in June. CNN used it on Monday evening for the ‘Fight for the White House: Joe Biden’s Long Journey’ special. Except in CNN’s version, the Washington Redskins logo had disappeared from the younger Biden’s beanie.
This is a terrible look, @CNN
Removing the Redskins logo from what is an otherwise great picture of Biden and his son is exactly the kind of thing they’d go after Fox News for doing if it was about Trump. pic.twitter.com/XuAKunL3Ve
— Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) September 9, 2020
The team had retired its name and logo in July this year, amid the uproar about “racial justice” sweeping the US following the death of George Floyd, an African-American man, in Minnesota. It is currently known just as the Washington Football Team, as ‘Redskins’ was judged offensive to Native Americans. None of that justifies retouching historical photographs, however.
“Shouldn’t this be banned by Twitter ‘standards’ since it’s a doctored image, or at least a warning for the viewer, or is that only for Trump and conservatives?” was a typical take on social media after the altered photo was noticed.
Conservative pundit Tim Carney simply mocked CNN’s infamous ‘This is an apple’ ad, in which the network boasted of its commitment to facts.
This is not an apple. https://t.co/evnLWyNkdj
— Tim Carney (@TPCarney) September 9, 2020
“I’m still looking for an innocent explanation for this like they accidentally grabbed a photo without realizing it’s altered,” tweeted Frank Fleming, writer for the satirical site Babylon Bee. “Because if CNN just decided to alter a photo to help a candidate… wow.”
The cable network’s Orwellian touch drew attention only from conservative outlets and pundits, with legions of political fact-checkers either strangely silent on the subject – or too busy fact-checking President Donald Trump.
Fact check: President Trump made 10 false and misleading claims about Biden during a North Carolina rally on Tuesday https://t.co/ebj0n4qDDJ
— CNN (@CNN) September 9, 2020
The network has not officially commented on the incident. However, an unnamed source inside CNN told Washingtonian Magazine that the photo had not been altered by the network, but was actually provided as such by Biden’s presidential campaign. Future airings of the special “will include the original photo,” the source said.
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