CNN Misidentifies Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam as a Republican During Coverage of Racist Old Photo

Photo was in Northam’s 1984 medical school yearbook

Last Updated: February 2, 2019 @ 11:49 AM

CNN corrected a segment of “Anderson Cooper 360” after a chyron misidentified Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam as a Republican during its coverage of his apology for a racist old photo.

During the segment, video of Northam’s apology was paired with text that said “Gov. Ralph Northam (R) Virginia.” Northam, a Democrat, was elected in 2017.

The clip was was shared by the show’s Twitter account during the regular broadcast on Friday night, but deleted later. However, it was widely shared throughout the night by conservative critics.

Early Saturday morning, the show posted a new version of the video that correctly identified Northam as a Democrat.

CNN did not immediately reply to a request for further comment from TheWrap.

Northam is facing nearly unanimous demands to step down from national and state Democratic leadership over the photo, which depicts two men in racist costumes, one in blackface, and the other dressed as a member of the Ku Klux Klan. The photo was included on Northam’s 1984 Eastern Virginia Medical School yearbook page, and first made public by the conservative website Big League Politics.

Also surfaced was Northam’s Virginia Military Institute yearbook, which shows that he went by a nickname which contained what appears to be a racist slur during his time at the school.

Early Friday evening, Northam said in a statement that the photo depicts him, and apologized, though he did not state which of the two costumes he was wearing.

“Earlier today, a website published a photograph of me from my 1984 medical school yearbook in a costume that is clearly racist and offensive. I am deeply sorry for the decision I made to appear as I did in this photo and for the hurt that decision caused then and now,” Northam said in part.

In a subsequent video posted to his Twitter account Friday night, Northam said that he will not resign. And on Saturday, CNN reported that, according to “a top Virginia Democratic source,” Northam is privately telling people he no longer believes he is depicted in the photo.

“Northam told the source he was in touch with some of his former Eastern Virginia Medical School colleagues, who said they believed many of the pictures in the yearbook were mixed up,” CNN reports.

See the original CNN clip below:

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