CBS News just took one giant step backward in regard to diversity and inclusion and Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) demands an explanation, while Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it’s “unacceptable.”
The news network announced its digital reporters and producers on a team that will cover the 2020 presidential election and Black journalists were not included.
Ben Mitchell, a political unit associate producer, shared the announcement on Twitter, along with a photo of the journalists:
It’s Official: The @CBSNews 2020 Election Team has assembled! https://t.co/0GBCw4mj7s pic.twitter.com/E0rUDAkzf7
Ben Mitchell (@bfmitchell) January 11, 2019
“Our stellar team of political embeds and associate producers is second to none and will be at every event in every state giving our viewers an up-close look at the campaign trail along the way to the White House,” Caitlin Conant, CBS News political director,
said, in a statement.
The fact that CBS News failed to include a Black journalist basically means its coverage will not include the African American perspective in a political climate where retro-racism is prevalent.
Not only is there a president in office that has called African nations “sh** hole countries,” there are white nationalist politicians, like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), in office.
Related Story: Rep. Steve King’s White Supremacy Remark Just Shows His True Colors
Last week, The New York Times published an interview with King, in which he asked the question: “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization how did that language become offensive Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization”
Waters tweeted on Monday morning:
CBS, the efforts on your website about your support for diversity fly in the face of your display of all of the reporters you’ve selected for the 2020 campaign. Not one Black. What’s up with this An explanation is needed.
Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) January 14, 2019
Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Saturday:
This WH admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have, yet
@CBSNews hasn’t assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election.
Unacceptable in 2019. Try again.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC)
January 13, 2019
CBS has been rocked by a string of sexual harassment allegations against anchor Charlie Rose, who was fired, and Leslie Moonves, the company’s CEO who was pushed out in September and
denied his severance package.
Earlier this month, it was announced that CBS News has tapped Susan Zirinsky as its new president and senior executive producer, succeeding David Rhodes.
After four decades at the network, Zirinsky was chosen for the position amid organizational chaos. She is the first woman to lead CBS’ news division.
An investigation into the scandals also revealed that the broader corporate culture at CBS is majorly flawed. The company was not providing sufficient resources to its human resources department or for diversity and inclusion initiatives.
According to CBS News’ website, Josie J. Thomas, is the executive vice president, chief diversity and inclusion officer, chair CBS Diversity Council, CBS Corporation.
“The investigation determined that the resources devoted to the company’s Human Resources function, to training and development, and to diversity and inclusion initiatives have been inadequate, given the size and complexity of CBS’ businesses,” the
CBS board stated in December.
“Employees also cited past incidents in which HR and the company did not hold high performers accountable for their conduct and protect employees from retaliation.”