Monday, April 5, 2021

CBS News Backs-Off Advocacy Tweet

CBS News deleted a tweet Saturday after backlash over the linked news article that gave companies advice for how to “fight Georgia’s restrictive new voting law.”

“3 ways companies can help fight Georgia’s restrictive new voting law,” the now-deleted tweet from Friday evening read, according to the Daily Caller.

The article linked in the tweet also appeared to be edited after backlash and was not tagged under any opinion-related section on the website. An archived version of the article displays the same headline as the deleted tweet.

The headline was later updated to read: “Activists are calling on big companies to challenge new voting laws. Here’s what they’re asking for.”

“LOL this tweet is outright partisan advocacy,” the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy wrote regarding CBS News’ original article and tweet.

The article in question, written by CBS MoneyWatch reporter Khristopher J. Brooks, gave three suggestions for companies to boycott Georgia’s voting law, according to “activists.” The first section urged companies not to donate to the two Georgia Republicans who co-sponsored the bill. The second bullet point pushed for companies to “spread awareness” via television and social media advertisements, and the third note called for them to “fight for federal law” regarding the “For the People Act.”

“Activists are urging Georgia-based companies like Delta, Home Depot and UPS to stop funding the political campaigns of Republican legislators behind the state’s move to restrict voting rights,” Brooks wrote in the article. “They also want companies to put their brands behind publicity campaigns that openly oppose similar voter law proposals in Arizona, Florida and Texas, as well as to take a stand in favor of bills in Congress aimed at expanding access to the ballot box.”

Conservative writer A.G. Hamilton wondered “on what planet” it would be “acceptable for a news organization to engage in this type of activism” while wanting “to be taken seriously.”

Washington Examiner chief political correspondent Bryan York wrote that it was “incredible that CBS News would publish pure political advocacy.”

Georgia’s new voting bill includes rules aimed at strengthening voter ID requirements, restricting absentee ballots and preventing “line-warming,” among other provisions.

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