CNN Admits “Mistake” Describing Gray As Son Of Illiterate Heroin Addict


CNN president Jeff Zucker admitted it was a “mistake” to publish a controversial story on the network's website Monday calling slain Baltimore resident Freddie Gray “the son of an illiterate heroin addict,” The Wrap reports. Zucker told staff members yesterday, “The digital team removed it last night and inserted an editors note to be completely transparent. The editorial intent as the digital team has laid it out to me was to make clear he had a difficult upbringing. But clearly it did not come across that way when it was written and published. We recognize that. It did not work and we removed it. And were transparent about that. That was a mistake.”

Though a network insider who observed the “town hall” event described Zucker's comments as an apology and his behavior as conciliatory, a CNN spokesperson disputed that characterization: “He never used the word 'apology,' nor any word that evokes apology.” The story, about the first day of jury selection in the trial of one of the Baltimore officers charged with the late Gray's killing, drew the ire of many on social media for reporting: “The April 19 death of Freddie Gray, the son of an illiterate heroin addict, made him a symbol of the black community's distrust of police.” One Twitter user wrote: “Here we go. Freddie Gray on trial in the murder of Freddie Gray.”

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