NBC News staff were told not to call Rep. Steve King (R-IA) “racist” in news stories, the Huffington Post reported. Then, shortly after that guidance was leaked, NBC News changed its advice, saying, “It is fair to characterize King’s comments as ‘racist,’ and point out that he has a history of racist comments, and the context can be shared that others hold that view as well.”
The Huffington Post found out about the guidance and update because two NBC News employees gave it a copy of an internal e-mail from NBC News standards department stating “Be careful to avoid characterizing [King’s] remarks as racist. It is ok to attribute to others as in ‘what many are calling racist’ or something like that.”
iMediaEthics has written to NBC News for confirmation of its guidance.
The New York Times published a round up of “Steve King’s Racist History: A Timeline of Offensive Comments,” noting King “has a long and documented history of denigrating racial minorities.”
King denied Jan. 10 he is an “advocate for white nationalism and white supremacy,” after a New York Times article reported he said “White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Then, Jan. 14, King was stripped of all of his committee assignments and was criticized by Republican Party members for his comments in the Times.