On Friday, CNN used the wrong party label in identifying Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam as he faced criticism over a yearbook photo that featured one man wearing a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) outfit and another in blackface.
CNN host Anderson Cooper correctly referred to Northam as a Democrat, but his show’s chyron read “(R)” for Republican when it aired his apology, the Washington Examiner reported.
Watch the video below:
The clip lasted less than 15 seconds but caused quite an uproar on social media. While it’s unclear what exactly happened, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called on CNN to apologize to its viewers.
— Ronna McDaniel (@GOPChairwoman) February 2, 2019
“How does this happen? CNN should apologize to their viewers,” she tweeted with a “Facts First” hashtag in an attempt to mock the tagline that the network uses to claim that it focuses on objectivity.
Northam’s yearbook photo was just the latest controversy he encountered during the week and seemed to deal yet another blow to his party’s public image.
Many on social media argued that if Northam was actually a Republican, it would have received a lot more attention.
Bret Baier weighs in on racist Virginia Democrat Ralph Northam: "All I know is that the coverage of this would be a lot different if it were a different prism. If it were in a Republican governor I think it might be leading a lot of the newscasts it’s not leading currently." pic.twitter.com/J3hjLdy4i4
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) February 2, 2019
This is not a clear response. The people of Virginia deserve more. Honestly, if this were a Republican – especially Trump – we would be calling for his resignation. Ralph Northam needs to resign. https://t.co/4s1zodLP5O
— Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) February 1, 2019
Look, @RalphNortham issued an apology. What happens now is between him, his God and Virginia voters. I'm not piling on.
I'll just say this: If Northam were a Republican, he'd already be gone.
— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) February 1, 2019
As IJR Red reported earlier, Northam initially apologized but reportedly changed his tune while speaking with Democratic lawmakers.
“I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now,” Northam said in his initial apology.
He also posted a video apology, the one that Cooper aired on his show.
Watch the video below:
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. I believe you deserve to hear directly from me. pic.twitter.com/1rSw1oxfrX
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) February 2, 2019
But later, he reportedly told other Democrats that he wasn’t sure if he was one of the men in the offensive photo.