Can white people use the N-word while quoting suspects accused of hate crimes?
CNN reporter Susan Candiotti again set off one of America's most uncomfortable debates — can white people ever say the N-word? — when she used the phrase "f—ing n—er" while reading a Facebook message allegedly posted by a shooting suspect.
She said the message was from 19-year-old Jacob England, one of two men suspected in the shooting deaths of three African-Americans.
“And it reads like this," Candiotti said. "'Today is two years that my dad has been gone, shot by' — and please excuse the language, it's very sensitive — 'Shot by a fucking n—er.'"
After the segment, anchor Fredricka Whitfield apologized again.
"Susan Candiotti in Tulsa — and we apologize to our viewers for such profanities being used on our air," she said.
Conservative outlets that regularly accuse CNN of liberal bias noted that it was just three weeks ago that another CNN reporter used the racial slur. CNN Drew Griffin used the phrase "F-ing n—er" — using "F-ing" in place of "fucking" but saying the racist word — to quote a statement allegedly made by a hate crime suspect.
The Drudge Report linked to the Daily Caller report, as well as a NewsBuster's report noting that CNN anchor Don Lemon, who is black, has said news reports should use the word, rather than the phrase "the N-word," because that "sanitizes it."
The reports spawned a flood of predictable online comments suggesting that CNN was practicing a double standard by reporting on offensive remarks made by others — as if quoting someone else's offensive remark in a news broadcast were equivalent to calling someone a racial slur.
Watch Candiotti's report: