A social media meme was used to unfairly link a tweet from Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas to comments from the mass murderer in the El Paso, Texas, attack, and CNN helped spread the smear.
The meme attempted to show how certain phrases and ideas found in the manifesto of the mass murderer could be sourced to Republican political and media figures.
But one quote linked to Cornyn misrepresented what he truly said.
"Texas gained almost nine Hispanic residents for every additional white resident last year," Cornyn tweeted in June. But that was a headline from a Texas Tribune article.
Cornyn was careful to frame the tweet in the context of recognizing the patriotism of Hispanics in Texas.
The tweet was misrepresented when it was first posted as well, prompting the Texas Tribune editor to defend Cornyn and set the record straight about the context of the tweet.
This was completely ignored in the meme attempting to mischaracterize Cornyn's beliefs as that of the headline of the article he tweeted.
CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson helped spread the smear to the cable news audience.
"The other unique part of this era is Trump's rhetoric on race, his rhetoric about black and brown people, and the Republican party's unwillingness to really talk about it, as well as really pick up that language," Malika said.
"If you look at John Cornyn's twitter feed for instance, some of the language in his Twitter feed mirrors some of the language in the manifesto from the killer in El Paso," she claimed.
"So that is problematic," she concluded.