Oops! AM Airs “N” Word

Bleep! Bleep! Bleep!…”N*****.” No, it was not a rap video nor a Chris Rock comedy routine that let the “N” word rip today: rather, it was CNN’s American Morning.

Initially, AM had somewhat successfully censored the offensive term thrice when it first aired an interview with the mother of the Connecticut Budweiser distributor killer’s girlfriend.* During the segment with CNN correspondent Alison Kosik, the girlfriend’s mother indicated that the gunman Omar Thornton had been racially harassed and gave instances using the ‘N’ word thrice explicitly. When she did, AM producers bleeped it but it was not completely rendered inaudible each time.

Approximately, an hour later, CNN ran the story anew. Reading the headline news account, co-host Kiran Chetry stated, “People who knew the alleged gunman…are trying to make sense of the shooting rampage….The mother of Thornton’s girlfriend says he was angry about his treatment on the job.”** After she did, producers ran a clip of the interview again. However, this time the mother was unedited: She stated, “He was being harassed racially at work. Supposedly, there [were]…pictures on his cellphone…showing that there was the word ‘n*****’ written on the bathroom walls.”

Strangely, neither Kiran nor co-host John Roberts apologized nor even mentioned the apparent slip-up. However, AM executive producer Jamie Kraft apparently noticed: He did not run the story again during the second half of the show. Apparently, someone else at CNN took note as well:, When Kosik’s report resurfaced later on CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips, the mother’s interview was conspicuously cut.***

*American Morning – 08/04/10 (@6:16 a.m. ET)
**American Morning – 08/04/10 (@7:15 a.m. ET)
***CNN Newsroom – 08/04/10 (@9:01 a.m. ET)

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