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CNN headline likens being black to being a criminal
Media analysts called out CNN over a recent headline that conflated being black to being a felon. - photo by Chandra Johnson
Issues of race are a huge factor in any U.S. presidential election, and they may be more noticeable in the 2016 election, where GOP candidate Donald Trump has alienated many minorities and polled terribly among them.

The New York Times reported recently Trump (who has famously called for a mass deportation of roughly 11 million illegal immigrants and for a ban on Muslims from entering the country) has a dismal 1 percent approval rating among African-American voters in two nationwide polls. Among Latinos, the Times reported Trump's support is around 20 percent.

To shore up these disparities, the Trump campaign has stated publicly the GOP "must do better" to appeal to minorities, specifically African-Americans.

It was CNN who many analysts said needed to do a better job of appealing to and respecting African-Americans, after a heading faux-pas, covering Trump's stump speech on the African-American vote.

A story detailing Trump's struggle to gain ground among African-American voters ran a headline conflating being black to being a felon: "Trump wants GOP to court black voters then slams voting rights for felons."

To be clear, the story detailed a Trump-opposed measure from democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, which seeks to grant voting rights back to convicted felons who have served their sentences, who McAuliffe says are disproportionately black. It's an effort McAuliffe said would reverse "a policy of disenfranchisement that has been used intentionally to suppress the voices of qualified voters, particularly African-Americans, for more than a century."

Incidentally, McAuliffe's concerns are supported by prison data, which finds incarceration rates among African-Americans are more than quadruple the rates among caucasian Americans.

Context aside, the headline and its implication drew the ire of many conservative media analysts, particularly Joe Concha of The Hill.

"In attempting to slam Trump for being racist and/or hypocritical...the authors inadvertently make themselves look that way instead," Concha wrote. "Because almost any lucid person seeing such a headline would come to the same conclusion: That 'blacks' are somehow synonymous with 'felons.'"

The headline complicates an already fraught week for CNN, which is facing scrutiny in the news business for hiring former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski earlier this summer. New outlets reported this week Lewandowski is being paid by both CNN and the Trump campaign.
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