CNN has suspended a journalist after she sent a disapproving tweet about the House of Representatives passing a bill seeking to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the US.
Global affairs correspondent Elise Labott has been stood down for two weeks after tweeting out a CNN story written by Deirdre Walsh and Ted Barrett with the comment: “Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish.”
— Elise Labott (@eliselabottcnn) November 19, 2015
House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish @CNNPolitics https://t.co/5RvZwVftgD
Within hours, the post had been retweeted more than 1,000 times and liked more than 2,000 times.
Eight hours later she apologised, saying her social media post was “inappropriate and disrespectful’.
— Elise Labott (@eliselabottcnn) November 20, 2015
Everyone, It was wrong of me to editorialize. My tweet was inappropriate and disrespectful. I sincerely apologize.
Labott repeated her apology underneath her original post, which was soon met with a chorus of posts supporting her original stance.
— stu stein (@thestustein) November 19, 2015
@eliselabottcnn @lrozen France accepts 30,000 while we cower in fear. Lady Liberty will look great in her new home pic.twitter.com/AyA9Cgl5ng
The political debate in the US on the Syrian refugee crisis has taken a vitriolic turn in the wake of last week’s Paris terrorist attacks. On Thursday the Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump, called for a database to track Muslims living in the US, and his closest rival, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, compared refugees of the Syrian conflict to “rabid dogs”.
Related: Muslim databases and 'rabid dogs': GOP in scramble to reject Syrian refugees
In 2012, CNN columnist Fareed Zakaria was suspended six days it was found he plagiarised sections of another writer’s article about gun control.
The last high-profile suspension was NBC News anchor Brian Williams who was hit with a six-month suspension for embroidering his combat reporting experiences and other reportage.
In 2011, NBC suspended Mark Halperin, an MSNBC political analyst, in 2011 for calling president Barack Obama “kind of a dick” on the channel’s Morning Joe programme.