CNN accused of activism by former staffer after 'appalling' report on Facebook advertisers

By Brian Flood | Fox News

The story listed companies that ‘haven’t pulled ads from Facebook yet’.

CNN was ridiculed and labeled “activists” Wednesday after publishing a story about brands continuing to advertise on Facebook amid a protest launched by a civil-rights group – and a former CNN reporter even blasted the network, saying the piece felt “closer to activism than reporting.”

The story, headlined, “These are the big brands that haven’t pulled ads from Facebook yet,” essentially served as a list of companies still doing business with the tech giant, amid calls for businesses to boycott Facebook advertising for its treatment of hateful or racist content. CNN reporters Brian Fung and Kaya Yurieff penned the story that quickly sparked mockery.

CNN did not immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment.

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“Even as a steady drumbeat of household names like The North Face (VFC), Pfizer (PFE) and Levi Strauss (LEVI) have joined the pressure campaign over the social network’s handling of hate speech and misinformation, the vast majority of Facebook (FB)’s biggest advertisers — the ones with presumably the most leverage — have stayed quiet,” Fung and Yurieff wrote. “A CNN Business analysis of Facebook’s top advertisers, based on data from market research firm Pathmatics, reveals that most of the 100 biggest ad spenders on the platform have not joined the boycott.”

CNN then listed many of the companies that have not joined the boycott, prompting significant backlash on social media.

NBC News’ Dylan Byers, who used to work as a media reporter for CNN, scolded his former employer.

“So this feels closer to activism than reporting,” Byers wrote to accompany CNN’s tweet promoting the article.

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Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The article about companies still advertising with Facebook came one day after the network’s far-left media critic Brian Stelter noted a campaign called “#StopHateForProfit” in his nightly newsletter.

“The activist groups behind the campaign asked businesses to ‘not advertise on Facebook’s services in July.’ Wednesday is July 1,” Stelter wrote before noting Target and MassMutual were taking part.

Many critics took to Twitter to echo Byers and label CNN as activists once the list was published:

The backlash came as the once-proud CNN has continued to shift further to the left. The network has attacked conservatives on a regular basis and mocked President Trump from its official communications department Twitter account earlier Wednesday.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo was accused of siding with the “mob” during a contentious interview Tuesday evening with Mark McCloskey, the man who went viral for brandishing a gun alongside his wife as the couple protected their home from protesters. Cuomo, the younger brother of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., regularly has faced criticism for softball interviews with his sibling and he recently admitted he hasn’t been objective when covering his brother.

Meanwhile, popular columnist Betsy Rothstein – who most recently worked for the conservative Daily Caller – lost a long battle with cancer earlier this week. While the media industry mourned her death, one CNN reporter oddly pointed out that almost “everyone mourning her online” was white. CNN didn’t comment on the widely panned observation.Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News.

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