Accuracy in Media

CNN treats House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s controversial comments much differently than President Donald Trump’s controversial comments, as demonstrated in their article about Pelosi’s latest controversy. She blamed Republicans for “trying to get away with murder” with a police reform bill.

The cable news network headlined their article, “Pelosi says Republicans are ‘trying to get away with murder’ with policing bill.” The article noted that Pelosi’s comments were inflammatory and how Republicans demanded an apology, yet Pelosi said she would not apologize. CNN cited Pelosi’s own defense of her comments, where she blamed Republicans for similarly inflammatory rhetoric.

Pelosi’s controversial comments were the following:

“For something to happen, they’re going to have to face the reality of police brutality, the reality of the need for justice in policing, and the recognition that there are many, many good people in law enforcement, but not all and that we have to address those concerns. So far they’re trying to get away with murder, actually. The murder of George Floyd.”

Compare CNN’s coverage of Pelosi to its coverage of President Donald Trump.

Trump recently claimed that his predecessor, Barack Obama, committed treason. CNN’s headline read, “Trump falsely accuses Obama of treason in latest unfounded attack on his predecessor.” The article used strong words, such as “falsely accused” and “unfounded accusation” in describing Trump’s comments.

Though Trump’s comments were inflammatory, there was no such word choice in CNN’s article about Pelosi’s “get away with murder” comment. CNN did not call Pelosi’s comment “false” and neither did CNN use the word “unfounded.”

There is a significant difference between CNN’s treatment of Democratic leaders like Pelosi and the president, a Republican.

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