On Friday, CNN ran a chyron at the bottom of a newscast with anchor Anderson Cooper that identified Virginia Governor Ralph Northam as a Republican. The segment focused on an alleged yearbook photo of Northam in blackface.
However, Northam is not a Republican. He’s a Democrat.
During the segment on “Anderson Cooper 360,” Cooper directed viewers to a clip a Northam apologizing for a racist photo posted in a 1984 yearbook. The photo included two people side-by-side; one in blackface and the other in KKK garb.
As Northam apologized, CNN plastered the embattled governor’s name on a chyron as such: “Gov. Ralph Northam / (R) Virginia.” The “R” stands for Republican.
“My fellow Virginians,” said the Democrat, “earlier today I released a statement apologizing for behavior in my past that falls far short of the standard you set for me when you elected me to be your governor. I believe you deserve to hear directly from me.”
“That photo and the racist and offensive attitudes it represents does not reflect that person I am today or the way that I have conducted myself as a soldier, a doctor, and a public servant. I am deeply sorry,” the governor continued. “I cannot change the decisions I made nor can I undo the harm my behavior caused then and today. But I accept responsibility for my past actions, and I am ready to do the hard work of regaining your trust.”
After apologizing for the photo, Northam has since said he is neither man in the picture.
Cooper correctly identified Northam as a Democrat at the top of the segment. And after backlash over the apparent mistake, CNN issued a video correction on Twitter: “A previous tweet had a video misidentifying Gov. Northam’s party affiliation, it has been removed and the video has been corrected.”
Before the offensive photo resurfaced, Gov. Northam vouched for legislation that would allow abortion up to the moment of birth for essentially any reason. During the shocking radio interview, Northam took it a step further and advocated for infanticide.
“When we talk about third-trimester abortions, these are done with the consent of the mother, with the consent of physicians, more than one physician by the way, and it’s done in cases where there may be severe deformities, there may be a fetus which is non-viable,” said Northam. “So in this particular example, if the mother is in labor, I can tell you exactly what would happen, the infant would be delivered, the infant would be kept comfortable, the infant would be resuscitated if this is what the mother and the family desired, and then a discussion would ensue between the physician and the mother.”
Amid calls for Northam’s resignation, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Justin Fairfax — who’d be next in line to serve as governor if Northam were to resign — was hit with an allegation of sexual assault. Fairfax has denied the allegation.
“Lt. Governor Fairfax has an outstanding and well-earned reputation for treating people with dignity and respect. He has never assaulted anyone ever in any way, shape, or form,” said a statement from Fairfax.