By Victor Ochieng
Elise Labott, a global-affairs correspondent at CNN, has received two weeks suspension from the network over a heartfelt pro-refugee tweet, a source revealed to Business Insider.
Her tweet followed the move by the House of Representatives to control the inflow of Syrian and Iraqi refugees into the U.S. Labott criticized a bill, overwhelmingly supported by the legislators, that would greatly reduce the influx of Syrian refugees – a move that landing her within the wrath of the network.
“House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish,” she wrote on Twitter.
The tweet triggered a serious backlash, with many critics telling her to keep off such a contentious legislation. While some media houses provide one sided broadcasts, CNN always strives to relay news as it is, avoiding being partisan in their reporting.
Erick Wemple, The Washington Post’s media critic, said: “CNN correspondent lays bare bias in one easy tweet.”
On the other hand, Howard Kurtz, a media-focused Fox News host, termed Labott’s tweet as disrespectful and said, “I was stunned that Elise Labott, a CNN reporter, would tweet about Statue of Liberty hanging its head after Syrian refugee bill passed.”
Although there have been complaints from different quarters about the number of Syrian refugees being allowed into the country, the issue received greater attention after the Paris attacks that left about 130 people dead and prompted retaliatory attacks from the French government against ISIS. It’s alleged that one of the Paris terror suspects was found with a Syrian passport.
Many republican leaders stood against President Obama’s plan to allow more Syrian refugees into the country. The leaders were categorical that the move would pose security threat to the American people. It became very clear that the house wasn’t that divided on the issue as a number of Democrats also supported the bill, which was fronted by Republicans, and passed on Thursday.
Labott later extended her apology via Twitter.
In her apology, she said: “Everyone, It was wrong of me to editorialize. My tweet was inappropriate and disrespectful. I sincerely apologize.”
Going through social media comments, it’s clear that many Americans, particularly Republican leaning, are against the move to allow a large number of Syrian refugees into the U.S. There is a growing fear that the refugees would be infiltrated by ISIS sympathizers, something that’s likely to lead to Paris-like attacks.
Obama administration had to come forth to assure Governors that refugees coming in from Syria are rigorously vetted to forestall possible entry of ISIS members.