Howard Kurtz piles on Fredricka Whitfield

On Saturday, CNN Newsroom anchor Fredricka Whitfield erroneously called the Dallas police HQ gunman “courageous and brave.” On Sunday, she subsequently explained herself, stating that she misspoke.

And if you thought that was the end of it, well…


On Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, Howard Kurtz was speaking with anchor Bill Hemmer (both CNN alums) about Whitfield’s gaffe. At the beginning of the segment, Hemmer disclosed, “I worked at CNN, I know Fredricka Whitfield for a long time, I like her, I think she’s a good person.”

Kurtz acknowledges, “I accept her explanation that she misspoke, she’s not a particularly ideological person.” The time it took to explain herself, however, he had an issue with. “But the handling of it has been abominable. To let 24-hours go by, not apologizing on the same newscast, not say anything on Twitter, no comment at all from CNN… and then, to come back a day later, and simply say I misspoke.”

However, Whitfield very rarely uses Twitter. She’s been using it more frequently as of late – but more frequently usually means a few tweets per week.

“The handling of this has been abominable,” Kurtz said. “We journalists like to criticize political campaigns and candidates for not quickly reacting when they make a mistake. Journalists need to do the same thing. 24 hours is an eternity in the news industry. But when she did make the clarification, no apology or expression of regret, no apology to police or viewers.” He then added, “I don’t think you can even call it an apology.”

Hemmer asked if the story was over, and Kurtz said, “I think there’s some damage that lingers.”

Watch, via Mediaite:

(H/t Mediaite)

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