A viral tweet knocking CNN for a supposed editorial flip-flop on paid family leave doesn't actually level a legitimate criticism.
The note, which was published on May 31, reads sarcastically, "Life comes at you fast."
The tweet has racked up more than 10,000 shares since its initial posting. It includes screenshots of three separate stories published on CNN's website.
The first article, published on April 4, is titled, "Everyone should have a shot at paid family leave." The second article, published on May 22 is titled, "Trump's budget to include family leave." The last article, which was published on May 30 is titled, "How paid family leave hurts women."
The problem with the tweet's flip-flop implication is that the three articles don't suggest anything of the sort. The stories were plucked from the reporting and commentary sections of CNN's website. The two op-eds were written by separate authors.
"Everyone should have a shot at paid family leave" was written by pro-paid family leave activists Heather Boushey and Katie Bethell. "Trump's budget to include family leave" is a hard news story and doesn't contain an opinion at all. The final article, "How paid family leave hurts women," was authored by Vanessa Brown Calder, a policy analyst at the libertarian Cato Institute.
If anything, CNN is guilty of presenting a diversity of opinions. Shame on them?
This purpose of this article isn't to knock a random Twitter account. People should have fun on social media! Rather, the point here is to fight back against the frequent criticism that newsrooms are guilty somehow of ideological mushiness or political bias for publishing opposing views.
Engaging in point-counter-point is actually a good thing, contrary to the criticism directed at CNN this week, and newsrooms should be encouraged to do more, not less, of this sort of thing.