CNN weekend anchor Fredricka Whitfield seems like a smart woman, but she set a new level of stupid when she referred to a gunman who shot at Dallas Police Headquarters “courageous” and “brave.” Whitfield made the comments on Saturday, and on Sunday, in response to what seemed like universal criticism, she apologized, saying she “misspoke.”
Now, I’d like to give Whitfield the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it was a brain fart. Then again, perhaps Whitfield had the liberal equivalent of a Freudian slip and let her animosity for the police show through her professional facade.
Either way, I don’t feel bad for Whitfield. This is an anchor who has, time and again, played “gotcha” with her news subjects, especially conservatives. She gave Sarah Palin no slack when her statements were mischaracterized, and yet, she now wants us to forgive and forget her verbal stumble.
In a 2010 report from Newsbusters, Whitfield underplayed the attendance at a Tea Party Express rally in Washington as “dozens of people,” when Politico and other press reports estimated the crowd at nearly 20,000. In the same report, Whitfield singled out Sarah Palin when her statement telling Americans to “reload” was criticized for inciting possible violence (none ever did). Whitfield mocked those who justified Palin’s statements:
“[Palin is] also trying to kind of explain or structure the language she has used about reloading America. Many people talked about some of the language that’s been used by Republicans, including her as inciting violence as a result of the health care vote. She says she is not inciting violence. Instead, she says she is inspiring people to stand up for their God-given rights in her language.”
I don’t consider Palin’s statement a mistake or worthy of criticism, but Whitfield dogpiled on her with the rest of the media. So should we give her the courtesy of forgiveness she refused to give others?