FOX 24 Charleston, you done fucked up.
During a news segment discussing 2019 Root 100 Honoree Jaime Harrison, who also just so happens to be running for U.S. Senate in South Carolina—he has our vote!—this happened:
Yes, they flashed a mugshot while discussing the 44-year-old’s ongoing campaign but no, the woman in that mugshot—22-year-old Javondrea Shaidasha McLeod—isn’t Harrison. And to imply as much, accidentally or otherwise, has the potential to not only irreparably harm his campaign, but his standing as a reputable politician.
Shout out to morning news anchor Jon Bruce for doing his part to sidestep that bullshit, but since FOX 24 is acutely unaware of exactly who Jaime Harrison is, allow me to do the honors.
Shall we run down his resume?
Here’s what we at The Root wrote about him after announcing his status as a 2019 Root 100 Honoree:
Jamie Harrison is looking to make history once again. In 2013, the Yale University grad became the first African American to become the chairman of the Democratic Party in South Carolina. Prior to assuming leadership of his home state’s party, Harrison served as Rep. Jim Clyburn’s director of floor operations while the congressman was the Majority Whip. Harrison also worked as a lobbyist for the Podesta Group. Earlier this year, Harrison announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate from the Palmetto State. If he unseats Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham, Harrison would become the first Democrat to win statewide office in South Carolina since 2006. It’s a Herculean challenge but Harrison is ready to battle.
And in 2016, Congressman James Clyburn, Majority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, co-signed Harrison’s inevitable ascension within the political ranks.
“He has the experience, vision, and commitment to rebuild our party and to return us to victory on national, state, and local levels,” Clyburn wrote to members of the Democratic National Committee. “Jaime’s experiences have made him adept at connecting with people at all levels—from South Carolina fish fries and Maryland crab boils to the hallowed halls of our finest colleges and universities. Jaime is well regarded by many of my colleagues here and by Democrats from around the country.”
But back to FOX 24 Charleston’s bullshit. Guy King, Harrison’s spokesman, provided the following statement to The Root:
“It is shocking and deeply disturbing that a news organization would make this kind of error, which raises serious questions about their commitment to fair coverage, especially as Americans are marking Black History Month.”
We also reached out to the Congressional Black Congress PAC for comment but they had yet to respond.
In closing, I respectfully request—and expect—FOX 24 Charleston to do better. And the next time you provide updates on Harrison’s campaign, use a picture that accurately conveys his character and the caliber of candidate you’re reporting on instead of a fucking mugshot.
Here are some options: