NN prides itself on reporting breaking news as quickly as possible, says Erik Wemple at The Washington Post. But "it's apparently a little slower in responding to in-house crises." CNN political analyst Roland Martin sent out "unequivocally homophobic tweets" during Sunday's Super Bowl, but CNN didn't suspend him until Wednesday. One tweet in particular — "If a dude at your Super Bowl party is hyped about David Beckham's H&M underwear ad, smack the ish out of him!" — provoked the ire of gay rights groups. Martin apologized, claiming he was mocking soccer players, not gay men. Yeah, right, scoffs Joe Coscarelli at New York. "CNN didn't buy it, either." Is suspending Martin indefinitely the right response?
CNN should fire Martin: Urging violence against anyone is "serious and ugly stuff," and it's even worse when aimed at an embattled group like gays and lesbians, says David Zurawik at the Baltimore Sun. I suspect Martin's employer agrees, and "I will be shocked to ever see him on CNN again." A network that strives to be more "journalistically responsible" than its cable news peers can't afford to keep "a political analyst with such poor judgment and lack of sensitivity."
Are you kidding? CNN is overreacting: Violence against gays and lesbians is a real problem, says Rita Solomon at PolicyMic, but "the overly sensitive reaction... to this tweet is not doing victimized LGBT youth any favors." Declaring war over a journalist's "ambiguous informal tweet" just encourages "paranoia," and takes the focus away from more serious homophobia and anti-gay hate crimes. "Martin's tasteless joke, along with his apology, should be dismissed as irrelevant, and forgotten."
"Martin's Super Bowl tweet... should not matter to the LGBT community"
If only CNN were more consistent: "Don't cry for Roland," says Michael Arceneaux at The Grio. Words have consequences, and "a political commentator ought to know better than anyone how quickly an off-the-cuff remark can be your undoing." At the same time, CNN seems to be employing a "double standard." What about conservative pundits Erick Erickson and Dana Loesch, "who has boasted about being thrilled over Occupy protesters getting struck by Tasers or [U.S. military men] urinating on dead Taliban soldiers"? That's arguably just as bad as Martin's tweet.
"CNN had no choice but to suspend Roland Martin"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Who are the real gay marriage bigots?
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- Sorry Belle Knox, porn still oppresses women
- What the collapse of the Ming Dynasty can tell us about American decline
- Religious liberty should be a liberal value, too
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' confused man-crush on Vladimir Putin
- Why is American internet so slow?
- Don't worry: World War III will almost certainly never happen
- Why states should stop limiting the alcohol content in your beer
- 10 things you need to know today: March 8, 2014
Subscribe to the Week