CBS News came under fire for promoting “3 ways companies can help fight Georgia’s restrictive new voting law” with its latest piece on Twitter, with critics accusing the network of engaging in political activism and advertising an anti-law stance on the issue, instead of simply reporting on it.
“Incredible that CBS News would publish pure political advocacy,” Washington Examiner’s correspondent Byron York wrote, sharing the now-deleted tweet which featured the controversial headline and a link to the article.
In the piece, the CBS News journalist has pondered how big companies, like Delta, could stop providing funds to political GOP legislators involved in “the state's move to restrict voting rights” with Georgia’s new law.
Ladies and gentlemen, the journalists are again at it pic.twitter.com/8t2ez6jwgs— Jack Posobiec (@JackPosobiec) April 4, 2021
But neither the article nor the tweet advertising the piece featured “opinion” disclaimers, making an impression that the news service was making a call on how to combat the Republican-led initiative in the state.
I'm old enough to remember when media outlets at least pretended that they were doing journalism, not activism. https://t.co/Sxm56s2wH4— Rod Dreher (@roddreher) April 3, 2021
Incredible that CBS News would publish pure political advocacy. This article advocates donor boycotts of specific political figures, spreads political propaganda, and urges passage of a specific bill (HR1). From a news division. Incredible. https://t.co/8aP2NmBkgu— Byron York (@ByronYork) April 3, 2021
Following a widespread backlash, the original tweet featuring the much-criticised headline was deleted and replaced with a new one, shifting responsibility for the “fight”, and calling on “civil rights groups.”
Days after major corporate names publicly denounced Georgia's controversial voting law, civil rights groups are raising the heat on big companies to help combat similar proposals https://t.co/3ygYsLMwgG— CBS News (@CBSNews) April 2, 2021
The article’s headline was also amended: now it was “activists” who were “calling on big companies to challenge new voting laws”.
But Twitter users have managed to capture the channel’s original tweet and the headline, sharing the screenshots to continue their rebuke of the news service.
CBS, after widespread criticism, changed the headline on its news article from "3 Ways Companies Can Help Fight Georgia's Restrictive New Voting Law" to one saying that it is *activists* who want this. They also deleted their tweet that contained the original headline. https://t.co/XTj5M6O1w5 pic.twitter.com/C2IhYCTztN— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 3, 2021
CBS at one time was a news organization. Now it wants to be a major cheerleader in the cancel culture. I’m on board, I’ll cancel watching cbs. They are the opposite of reporting news fairly!🤡🤡🤡 Never let the truth get in the way of a good story 🤡🤡— the bull (@thebull25) April 3, 2021
Gosh I had a lot more respect for @CBSNews before they deleted their tweet and changed the headline.— Khashoggi’s Ghost (@UROCKlive1) April 3, 2021
Imagine letting Fox "News" bully you about being partisan.
The Georgia law IS voter suppression. Period.
No matter what they say this isn't debatable.https://t.co/8VUlzsbOkO
Georgia’s voting bill, passed and signed into law by Governor Brian Kemp last week, was decried by US President Joe Biden as “Jim Crow in the 21st Century”, in a reference to racial segregation laws that were imposed on the Southern United States in the late 19th century.
The new legislation has introduced strict ID requirements for absentee ballots voters, shrunk time for absentee ballots requests, made it illegal for election officials to send mail ballots to all voters in the state without requests and banned the handing of water and food for voters waiting in line - in a fear that this may prompt outsiders to influence citizens voting-behaviour.
Despite a strong criticism from Democrats who dubbed the law an “attack” on voting rights, Governor Kemp has defended the bill as actually “expanding” access to voters, rather than limiting it, as opponents claims.
"Georgia will take another step toward ensuring our elections are secure, accessible, and fair," Kemp insisted last week.