News and Commentary

CBS News Blasted For Deceptive ‘Race Baiting’ Headline, Trying To ‘Stir Up Racial Discord’
CHARLESTON - FEBRUARY 25: CBS News hosts the 2020 Democratic Debate in Charleston, SC on February 25, 2020.
Mary Kouw/CBS via Getty Images

CBS News faced intense backlash this week over a deceptive headline the network published about a story in which a store owner defended himself using a firearm against violent looters.

CBS News reporter Sophie Lewis published a report that featured a title that stated: “A white bar owner in Omaha shot and killed a black protester. He won’t face charges.” CBS used the same line to promote the piece on Twitter.

A “black activist was shot and killed by a white bar owner after a fight broke out,” Lewis reported, before later noting that the “white bar owner” was actually first attacked by the “black activist.”

“A grainy surveillance video of the shooting, played during the briefing, shows that [bar owner Jacob] Gardner backed up and pointed a gun after two people tackled him in the street. He initially fired two shots into the air that did not hit anyone,” Lewis reported. “After [black activist James] Scurlock jumped on his back, Gardner can be heard saying ‘get off me’ many times before fatally shooting Scurlock once in the clavicle, Kleine said. Scurlock was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries.”

CBS News was widely slammed on social for their headline which gave a false impression of what actually happened.

Sidney Powell, the lawyer for General Michael Flynn, responded by writing on Twitter: “That was not a ‘protestor’– it was a violent attacker. The color of either is irrelevant. More die every weekend in #Chicago. It’s stupid & needless. Wake up America. Send in @USArmy to keep peace. @realDonaldTrump Protect the innocent. Stop the rape of America & murder of all.”


Political commentator and comedian Steven Crowder wrote: “Wonder why CBS didn’t include in the headline that the bar owner was being mercilessly gang-beaten and he acted in self defense?”

A popular conservative Twitter account opined: “Disturbing and indefensible headline clearly meant to provoke underserved outrage & division. I saw a lot of tweets about this yesterday but decided to wait until I saw more. Video and described witness testimony make it apparent that this tragic shooting was in self-defense. Clear from the video that Scurlock was the aggressor. 3 people, including Scurlock, jumped the bar owner even knowing he was armed. He had every reason to fear for his life. There were rumors being spread about a racial epithet, but audio and witnesses do not support that.”



RealClearPolitics writer Mark Hemingway wrote: “This is needlessly inflammatory and straight-up media malpractice.”

One Twitter user commented: “Beware of the media. Race baiting to spark up more tension is their sick objective. The man shot at them for breaking into his property. It was self defense. This why the president calls them fake news! CBS should be disgusted with themselves.”

Another Twitter user added: “Just CBS trying to stir up racial discord.”

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