CNN is being widely-mocked for a report knocking the Trump administration for its "lack of diversity" in the task force combatting the coronavirus -- with a former CNN pundit even pointing out the network’s own lack of diversity.
In an "analysis" piece, CNN national political writer Brandon Tensley sounded the alarm after President Trump tweeted out photos from a briefing he had on the deadly virus that is spreading across the world, saying "we have the best experts" who are monitoring the situation.
"Who are these experts? They're largely the same sort of white men (and a couple [of] women on the sidelines) who've dominated the Trump administration from the very beginning," Tensley complained.
The CNN writer then compared Trump's male, pale, team to a photo taken of former President Obama's during the 2014 Ebola outbreak.
"By contrast, former President Barack Obama's circle of advisers in the face of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa was hardly so monochromatic," Tensley wrote. "Neither was it so abysmal in terms of gender diversity (Of course, to contextualize, Obama's administration, on the whole, was far more diverse than Trump's.). And yet, as unsurprising as the diversity conversation in the Trump era has become, it's still worth pointing out from time to time, especially as the country approaches the 2020 presidential election in earnest."
Tensley assessed that the images "telegraph the sorts of people the administration is deemed worthy of holding power- and even being in close proximity to it," later adding, "the visuals that have come to define the Trump administration say something else, too. They signal the kind of people in a multi-racial country Trump values the opinions of: mostly white men who are mirror images of the President himself."
The report was slammed on social media.
"So just to get this straight, CNN is objecting to a task force designed to stop an epidemic by focusing on...ethnic diversity?" Daily Wire editor-in-chief Ben Shapiro asked.
"Your Trump hatred at CNN is a real cancer to our body politic. This means absolutely nothing in terms of being able to stop a deadly virus. I'm pretty sure the #coronavirus doesn't care that this room isn't 'diverse,'" NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck reacted.
"If Trump used an executive order to deploy resources for research that cured coronavirus, CNN would publish editorials on his 'authoritarian tendencies in addressing public health,'" radio show host Buck Sexton tweeted.
Some even compared the article to satire.
"Literally thought this was a Babylon Bee headline when I first saw it," Daily Caller editor Peter Hasson said about the popular conservative satirical website.
"CNN is trying to put @TheBabylonBee out of business by making the network impossible to parody," Federalist co-founder Sean Davis similarly tweeted.
"You guys are the reason people can’t distinguish between satire and reality anymore," conservative commentator Allie Beth Stuckey told the anti-Trump network.
Perhaps the biggest criticism came from former CNN commentator Steve Cortes, who pointed out the network's lack of diversity on-air.
"And what exactly does race have to do with fighting a deadly virus? Also, as long as @CNN wants to play quota games: why does the network have a grand total of 1 minority anchor across all the weekday shows? And, not one Hispanic? Colorless News Network?" Cortes reacted.
Last year, CNN took heat from the NAACP over a lack of minorities in executive positions.
“It is vital that news organizations reflect the diversity of our country, which includes people of color in key decision-making roles which are responsible for shaping news coverage and providing nuanced perspectives, especially around issues directly impacting Black America,” the NAACP said in a statement. “CNN’s lack of black representation in leadership roles is troubling and another example of the media industry’s reluctance to address an issue that continues to plague newsrooms across the country.”
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) also expressed concerns. A 2018 study by TheWrap indicated that CNN had “significantly fewer women serving in visible on-air roles than either Fox News or MSNBC.”
Fox News’ Brian Flood contributed to this report.