CNN was mocked by multiple conservative media personalities for publishing a story hitting the Trump administration for a “lack of diversity” among his team overseeing the nation’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.
President Donald Trump tweeted photos on Wednesday of a briefing with various agency officials dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, which the World Health Organization declared a global health emergency this week.
“We have the best experts anywhere in the world, and they are on top of it 24/7!” the president wrote.
Just received a briefing on the Coronavirus in China from all of our GREAT agencies, who are also working closely with China. We will continue to monitor the ongoing developments. We have the best experts anywhere in the world, and they are on top of it 24/7! pic.twitter.com/rrtF1Stk78
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2020
In response, CNN tweeted a story the following day with photos comparing President Donald Trump’s team to that assembled by former President Barack Obama to combat the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
The tweet read, “Coronavirus task force another example of Trump administration’s lack of diversity – Analysis.”
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 30, 2020
Among those shown in the picture of Obama’s task force were then-National Security Adviser Susan Rice, then-Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson and then-Vice President Joe Biden.
In CNN’s story, national political writer Brandon Tensley called the Trump administration’s team “as predictable as it is infuriating.”
“Who are these experts?” Tensley asked. “They’re largely the same sorts of white men (and a couple women on the sidelines) who’ve dominated the Trump administration from the very beginning.”
“[A]s unsurprising as the diversity issue in the Trump era has become, it’s still worth pointing out from time to time, especially as the country approaches the 2020 presidential election in earnest,” he added.
Conservative radio talk show host Ben Shapiro responded to CNN’s tweet with a question: “So just to get this straight, CNN is objecting to a task force designed to stop an epidemic by focusing on … ethnic diversity?” he wrote.
So just to get this straight, CNN is objecting to a task force designed to stop an epidemic by focusing on…ethnic diversity? https://t.co/PaXlJz8LNm
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 31, 2020
Political commentator Matt Walsh tweeted “This CNN article complaining about the lack of diversity in Trump’s coronavirus task force is amazing. Honest to God this is indistinguishable from parody. You could put the whole thing verbatim on the Babylon Bee and it wouldn’t be out of place.”
Conservative millennial Allie Beth Stuckey added, “You guys are the reason people can’t distinguish between satire and reality anymore.”
The Federalist co-founder Sean Davis accused CNN of “trying to put The Babylon Bee out of business by making the network impossible to parody.”
— Sean Davis (@seanmdav) January 31, 2020
Fox News highlighted that CNN lives in a glass house regarding issues of diversity.
The NAACP and the National Association of Black Journalists took the network to task last year for its lack of minorities in executive positions.
“CNN’s lack of black representation in leadership roles is troubling and another example of the media industry’s reluctance to address an issue that continues to plague newsrooms across the country,” the NAACP said in a statement.
The NABJ placed CNN on a “special media monitoring list” for its lack of diversity among the network’s leadership.
Further, a 2018 study done by TheWrap found CNN had “significantly fewer women serving in visible on-air roles than either Fox News or MSNBC.”
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