Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) and actress Kerry Washington criticized CBS News over not having any Black journalists as part of the organization’s 2020 election team.
CBS Associate Producer Ben Mitchell tweeted on Friday that the news organization has found 12 campaign reporters and associate producers to cover the 2020 election, which caused an uproar on social media.
“CBS, the efforts on your website about your support for diversity fly in the face of your display of all of the reporters you’ve selected for the 2020 campaign,” said Waters on Twitter. “Not one Black. What’s up with this? An explanation is needed.”
Washington reposted Mitchell’s tweet commending CBS for including some diversity, but called them out for lacking any Black journalists who can offer a unique perspective on how race will play a factor in next year’s election, where President Donald Trump will seek a second term.
“Dear @CBSNews, I am encouraged by the diversity you DID include. But when it comes time to discuss the inevitable role that race and racism will play in the election, who will you turn to for a perspective with nuanced & personal understanding of the African American experience?”
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who’s been a target for conservatives since her surprise primary victory in June against a Democratic incumbent, also took to Twitter to condemn CBS News.
“This WH admin has made having a functional understanding of race in America one of the most important core competencies for a political journalist to have, yet @CBSNews hasn’t assigned a *single* black journalist to cover the 2020 election,” she wrote. “Unacceptable in 2019. Try again.”
Despite CBS not including any Black reporters to cover next year’s pivotal election, not all of the journalists are White. Four of the 12 selected are people of color. Variety has identified them as: Musadiq Bidar, who’s from Afghanistan, Alex Tin, Jack Turman and Stephanie Ramirez.