FLASHBACK: CNN Couldn’t Find Mississippi on a Map

The Twitter account for CNN’s public relations team was blasted Thursday for its “unprofessional response” to White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham pointing out a geography error made by the network.

Hi @CNN, I know you guys are busy analyzing lines on a map, but perhaps you use your time to study up on U.S. geography?” Grisham said in a tweet accompanied by a screenshot showing CNN had mistakenly identified Mississippi as Alabama.

“Thanks, Stephanie. Yes, we made a mistake (which we fixed in less than 30 seconds). And now we are admitting it. You all should try it sometime,” the CNN Communications tweeted in response.

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It’s no secret that there’s no love lost between the administration of President Donald Trump and CNN. Trump and his associates have sparred with the network on multiple occasions. Still, some expected a semblance of decorum and restraint from a news organization’s public relations team.

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In one of the top replies to CNN Communications’ post, a user slammed the network for “an unprofessional response that reflects poorly on your company and perpetuates impressions of bias at your company.”

But other commenters, including one of the network’s own analysts, didn’t see it the same way.

Asha Rangappa, a former special agent for the FBI whose illustrious resume includes a faculty position at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, was not above tweeting out a sassy meme praising the CNN comms team’s snarky reply.

The CNN analyst’s sentiment echoed that of other commenters opposed to President Donald Trump and his administration.

“Looks like @PressSec just got owned. Considering she’s already lying about the fool she works for @CNNPR just made my day,” tweeted one commenter in a top reply.

The Human Rights Campaign’s Charlotte Clymer praised the tweet as “beautiful” and said it prompted her to “salute the flag.”

CNN and the snarkification of news

At least as far back as 2006, media pundits have cautioned about the rise of “snarky” journalism.

“Once, way, way back during the 20th century, journalism was measured by such quaint qualities as dogged reporting and meticulous fact-checking,” journalism professor Jon Friedman warned in a piece for MarketWatch.

And in 2017, conservative commentary writer T. Becket Adams slammed the snarky chyrons and headlines that have come to dominate the airwaves.

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Newsrooms need to keep their hard news reporting and commentary separated. People distrust this industry enough as is without the latter bleeding more into the former,” Adams urged.

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