End Suspension of CNN Reporter Who Publicly Supported Refugees

CNN Center

Target: Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. President David Levy

Goal: Stop punishing a reporter who tweeted that the Statue of Liberty would be ashamed about the U.S. refusing refugees.

A reporter for CNN suggested that the Statue of Liberty would bow her head in shame over the passage of a bill by the U.S. House of Representatives that could prevent Syrian refugees from being accepted into the country. In posting a link on her Twitter account to a CNN article about the bill, she added: “House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.”

For this, reporter Elise Labott was suspended from her job as a foreign affairs correspondent for “editorializing.” This seems odd considering the fact that nobody at CNN was suspended for wrongly suggesting that the terrorist attacks in Paris were carried out by Syrian refugees. Wolf Blitzer himself was not suspended for throwing out false information about the number of Syrian refugees currently in France, saying that the number was in the hundreds of thousands when in fact France has only admitted 4,500 refugees from any country since 2011.

On-air reporters for CNN frequently editorialize and flat-out state their opinions on air. Suspending this woman for saying that the Statue of Liberty would be ashamed at the idea of refusing refugees when its very purpose is to welcome “your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free” makes no sense. All it does it make it seem like CNN is catering to those who want to deny refugees entrance to the U.S. and who were therefore angered by this particular opinion.

It’s clearly unfair and biased of CNN to suspend this woman for “editorializing” when other reporters are allowed to do so all the time. Sign this petition to demand that the news outlet ends the suspension of Elise Labott and apologizes for treating her unfairly.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Levy,

I understand that one of your employees, Elise Labott, has been suspended for “editorializing” in a tweet about the bill recently passed by the House that could limit the number of refugees allowed in the country. In the post linking to the CNN article about the bill, she commented, “Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.” For this short statement, she is being officially punished and was forced to apologize.

This seems entirely unfair considering the fact that your reporters state their opinions all the time on air without facing any punishment. How is it that on-air reporters are allowed to wrongly speculate that the terrorists who recently attacked Paris were Syrian refugees–a statement that could easily increase hatred and violence against these poor people–and not be punished, but Ms. Labott gets suspended for a tweet?

Your network claims to not be biased, but your actions don’t support that claim. We demand that you end the suspension of Elise Labott and apologize to her for this unfair punishment.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Jerome Bon

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