CNN failed to mention that the questioner who set up Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) “viral” answer on faith and traditional marriage at last week’s Human Rights Campaign (HRC) LGBT town hall was a maximum donor of the Massachusetts lawmaker.
Warren made waves last week after Morgan Cox III, the chair of the HRC board of directors, asked Warren how she would respond to a supporter if he or she approached her and said, “Senator, I’m old-fashioned and my faith teaches me that marriage is between one man and one woman.'”
“Well, I’m going to assume it’s a guy who said that,” Warren said. “And I’m going to say, ‘Then just marry one woman.’ I’m cool with that.”
“Assuming you can find one,” she added, prompting laughs.
Warren’s answer went viral, with her campaign touting over 12 million views in 15 hours (across multiple media platforms):
A spokeswoman from the Warren campaign says this video from last night's CNN Town Hall has amassed 12 million views in 15 hours, accounting for all the places it's been posted. #IACaucus https://t.co/bnSewVHkxL
— Kim Norvell (@KimNorvellDMR) October 11, 2019
CNN described Cox as the chair to the HRC board of directors and noted his involvement with “a real estate investment firm in Dallas, Texas.” However, CNN failed to mention Cox’s status as a Warren donor.
Donor data matching Cox’s profile indicates that he donated $2,700 to Warren in July 2017 and $2,700 in April 2018.
The Washington Free Beacon reports:
FEC filings show that a “Morgan Cox III” from Plano, Tex., who listed his occupation as “investor” donated the legal maximum of $2,700 to Warren’s Senate primary campaign in 2017, followed by two donations totaling $2,700 to her general election campaign the following year. Cox also donated $2,700 to the Elizabeth Warren Action Fund PAC.
Records show that a “Morgan W. Cox III” who donated to the Human Rights Campaign and listed his employer as the Marquis Group also donated to Democratic congressional candidates Gina Ortiz Jones (Tex.), Jennifer Wexton (Va.), Nancy Soderberg (Fla.), and Annie Craig (Minn.). There is no evidence Cox has donated to any other 2020 Democratic presidential candidate.
Nonetheless, CNN failed to detail Cox’s status as a Warren donor. This, as Free Beacon notes, would not be the first time CNN has come under fire for failing to sufficiently disclose the affiliations of its town hall attendees:
The lack of disclosure comes after CNN was criticized in February for not disclosing the Democratic Party ties of town hall participants who asked harsh questions of outsider presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), including identifying the Baltimore County Democratic Party chairwoman as a “former biology professor.”
The network admitted that it “should have more fully identified any political affiliations” following the town hall controversy in February.
“Though we said at the beginning of the Town Hall that the audience was made up of Democrats and Independents, we should have more fully identified any political affiliations,” a CNN spokesperson told Fox News at the time.