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CBS News Is So Sorry for Confusing Ailing John Lewis With the Late Elijah Cummings During Broadcast

U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) (R) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) (L) are two different people and were seen in the same room during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.
U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) (R) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) (L) are two different people and were seen in the same room during a news conference at the U.S. Capitol January 4, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)

Gayle King is on vacation celebrating her 65th birthday, and the folks at CBS News have lost their minds.

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One could think that since the network caters to a mature television viewing demographic, that they would know the difference between two prominent senior citizens—lawmakers, at that—right?

Wrong!

The network showed a photo of late Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died in October at age 68, when referring to Georgia Democrat John Lewis. An image of Cummings was placed next to a quote from Lewis about his recently revealed battle with stage four pancreatic cancer.

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“While I am clear-eyed about the prognosis… I have a fighting chance,” Lewis said.

There is no fighting chance left for Cummings since he is no longer of this earth.

But I digress.

As expected, reactions were swift on social media about the network’s embarrassing error—some even bringing the lack of diversity in the newsroom into question.

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WSB-TV photographer Brandon Bryant lambasted the network, tweeting: “People! Representative #JohnLewis Lewis and the late Representative #ElijahCummings are TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE!”

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“I just seen a MAJOR network have the wrong picture of John Lewis on air! That was inexcusable not to research who is who. #DiversityInTheNewsroom,” Bryant continued.

“I know you all think Negroes like alike @CBSNews @NorahODonnell but this is Rep. Elijah Cummings…,” tweeted @coachjimeljones.

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On Monday, CBS News apologized for confusing one congressman for another during their evening broadcast. There’s even a statement:

“Tonight on the 6:30 p.m. ET broadcast of the CBS Evening News, one photograph was misidentified as Congressman John Lewis. We have replaced the photo in all broadcasts and platforms. We deeply regret the error.”

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But will there be a change?

Or is this just more of the same?

How is this still happening in 2019—with so much information (and images) at everyone’s fingertips, literally?

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But CBS News is not alone in mixing up black folks.

If not invisible, to some we are all the same.

Rupert Murdoch’s Republican-leaning, culturally-incompetent Fox News network also mixed up the two longtime black lawmakers, airing a clip of Lewis and mistakenly labeling him as Cummings during a broadcast of “America’s Newsroom.”

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DISCUSSION

weapon-a
weapon-a the first try suffers no trolls

I honestly never thought I’d be that guy, but here we are... the very picture attached to this story  shows both the late Congressman Cummings (in the background on the left) and Congressman John Lewis. At first glance they do look remarkably similar.

That CBS news made this error *is* a problem. It just isn’t necessarily the result of racism.

It might be though.