CNN.com Reporter Confronts RGIII over Redskins: 'Racist or Not?'

CNN.com Reporter Confronts RGIII over Redskins: 'Racist or Not?'

CNN.com reporter Moni Basu took an opportunity last week to confront and challenge Robert Griffin III, the Washington Redskins quarterback who had tweeted about “the tyranny of political correctness,” with a set of race-related questions.

“Is the R-word is as offensive as the N-Word?,” Basu first tweeted to Griffin.

Griffin never responded to Basu’s tweet. 

Prior to Griffin’s Tuesday tweet, Basu, who writes for CNN.com’s “In America” Blog, had posted an article about a D.C. council member’s “push” to change the Redskins to the “Redtails.” But after having learned of Griffin’s tweet, Basu updated her article with the new info and “attributed” Griffin’s tweet to the name change controversy. 

Basu wrote:

“At least one player felt the name change campaign was going overboard. Star quarterback Robert Griffin III said this on Twitter: ‘In a land of freedom we are held hostage by the tyranny of political correctness.'”

Griffin, for his part, never did state specifically what prompted his tweet, a fact Basu in her article either 1) knew but failed to disclose 2) sourced but failed to attribute or 3) presumed but failed to qualify. 

On the other hand, Basu did manage to reveal, as indicated by her twitter account, her preference for a name change.

By Tuesday evening, Griffin, who had sent three follow-up tweets–none of which acknowledged nor satisfied Basu’s question–signed off. 

“Hate is strong. But love is even stronger. Appreciate the support people. I’m out for the night,” tweeted Griffin.

Shortly thereafter, Basu decided to confront Griffin a second time.  

“U never answered my question but I’d like to know: Is the name #Redskins racist or not?,” Tweeted Basu.


Basu’s second attempt netted the same response as the first: silence. 

Why a veteran reporter like Basu felt it necessary to challenge Griffin and why she felt Twitter to be the appropriate format to do so is not clear. Furthermore, why would Basu ever believe she would be entitled to an answer from Griffin?

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