One news outlet that has been frequently criticized for liberal bias is going to have a hard time slithering its way out of this one. Earlier today, CNN Money’s Jeanne Sahadi published an article about America’s ongoing debt ceiling debate. While this is certainly an important subject worth discussing and examining, Sahadi’s headline was startling. It read: “Wingnut debt ceiling demands” (see left) and appeared under the site’s “news” section (where it remains).
The article is not labeled as an op-ed, nor is it placed in a section of the web site that would cause readers to assume that it is an opinion piece. After reading the text, readers are left with the notion (and they are told so in the headline) that anyone who opposes raising the debt ceiling without some preconditions being met is a wingnut.
At the top of the piece you’ll even notice Sahadi’s clever inclusion of images of Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and Marco Rubio — all of whom are prime targets in the piece. Mediaite has more:
A “wingnut” is a term often used to describe a member of the far out wing of a political party who espouses radical ideas. Why Gingrich, Palin and Rubio were selected, when two of the three aren’t currently serving politicians with a vote on the debt ceiling, isn’t exactly clear. The fact that the article seems to be an opinion piece seems to offer some justification for the opinionated and derisive headline, yet the fact that no such designation of “opinion” or “column” is made clear, it does leave critics of CNN with some ample ammunition.
At 2:18 p.m. Eastern time a curious development took place. After a number of outlets covered what seems to be yet another example of overt media bias, the story’s headline was changed. Now it reads: “Goofy debt ceiling demands.” We have the screen shot for you, below. Not much of an improvement, though, is it?
Read the piece for yourself.