Friends Fiduciary Joins Investor Effort Addressing CNN’s Erasure of Native Americans

June 1, 2021

FFC has signed onto a letter to CNN parent company AT&T asking them to address multiple recent instances of erasure, bias, and racism against Native Americans by CNN, owned by AT&T’s WarnerMedia. The letter is in response to significant concerns following several incidents that represent a continued and systemic bias within the CNN cultural toward Native Americans. This includes CNN’s inaccurate reporting and failure to acknowledge the considerable political, cultural, social, and economic contributions of Native peoples.

The most recent incident involved CNN giving commentator Rick Santorum a national platform to discuss his public speech in which he stated, “we birthed a nation from nothing… I mean, yes, we have Native Americans but candidly, there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.” Santorum failed to apologize for his words, resulting in multiple Native advocacy groups taking action.

While CNN has since fired Santorum for his comments, the news source has failed to publicly acknowledge the negative impacts of these incidents, that are tantamount to erasure – a tactic utilized throughout history to delegitimize Native sovereignty, and minimize historical atrocities and ongoing marginalization of Native people. FFC is concerned that these incidents demonstrate misalignment with AT&T’s Diversity and Inclusion goals and that CNN’s brand is linked with anti-Native rhetoric which poses significant risk to CNN’s reputation as a neutral and reputable news source.