CNN global affairs correspondent Elise Labott was suspended for two weeks over her tweet about Thursday’s vote in the U.S. House of Representatives about refugees being admitted to the United States.
On Nov. 19, Labott tweeted, “House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish,” along with a link to a CNN Politics article on the vote. The Nov. 20 vote calls “to drastically tighten screening procedures on refugees from Syria,” the New York Times reported. “The bill, which passed 289 to 137, with nearly 50 Democrats supporting it, would require that the director of the F.B.I., the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and the director of national intelligence confirm that each applicant from Syria and Iraq poses no threat.”
— Elise Labott (@eliselabottcnn) November 19, 2015
After news of her suspension was shared, Labott posted an apology on Twitter. “Everyone, it was wrong of me to editorialize,” she tweeted. “My tweet was inappropriate and disrespectful. I sincerely apologize.”
Everyone, It was wrong of me to editorialize. My tweet was inappropriate and disrespectful. I sincerely apologize.
— Elise Labott (@eliselabottcnn) November 20, 2015
CNN source informs me that Elise Labott has been suspended for two weeks for tweet about House vote on refugees: https://t.co/XTKTabRade
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) November 20, 2015
After Labott’s apology tweet, many people tweeted support for her original comment, saying she didn’t need to apologize. These included the Daily Beast‘s executive editor Noah Shachtman, First Look Media‘s Andy Carvin, and Mashable‘s Brian Ries.
@eliselabottcnn actually, that first tweet was spot on.
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) November 20, 2015
— Andy Carvin (@acarvin) November 20, 2015
@eliselabottcnn your first tweet was correct. Whomever asked you apologize is on the wrong side of history & authenticity.
— Brian Ries (@moneyries) November 20, 2015
On the other hand, when iMediaEthics went to Labott’s work Facebook page, her profile picture comments are bombarded with name-calling as well as threats. Some commenters called for her to be fired over the tweet, others agreed with her comments.
In terms of threats and name-calling? A sampling of comments from the top comments on the profile picture alone: She was called a “f**king idiot,” a “dumb lib,” the c-word, a “dumbass,” “a stupid a** libtard,” “devoid of humanity,” “disgusting,” an “unqualified loser,” and the list goes on. Some comments went further than just name-calling. “You f**king b*tch, I hope ISIS puts your head on a pole,” wrote one. “You’ll keep your head bowed right up until the Islamic killers cut your throat,” another said.
News outlets including the Washington Post, the Guardian and Politico reported on the suspension last night.