Heavy Rotation: CNN Pushes Story of Hotel Guest Evicted for 'Breathing While Black'

Since Friday morning, CNN has devoted a substantial amount of time to hyping the story of a black man who complained about racial discrimination after he was evicted from a DoubleTree hotel in Portland, Oregon. Two employees were fired for the incident. CNN has actually given the hotel-guest controversy slightly more time than it has to the story of the California police officer, Ronil Singh, who was murdered last week by an illegal immigrant -- 54 minutes versus 49 minutes.

 

 

Between Friday morning and Monday morning, the hotel story has been covered 20 separate times. Between Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning, a full report by correspondent Miguel Marquez was run seven times, of which six times he quipped that the police were called because the guest in question, Jermaine Massey, was merely "breathing while black."

Massey was clearly upset that the security guard asked him what he was doing there, and started recording on his phone with "You really want this PR issue, Earl? Do you?" Earl just shot back that the cops were on their way. Earl should have known he was going to be on CNN in heavy rotation....and out of a job. Meanwhile, Massey was telling his story to Don Lemon on CNN.

 

 

ABC and CBS also ran reports on the controversy. None of the reports pointed out that, in a hotel, it is not at all uncommon for staff or security guards to check if visitors are permitted to be there, especially at night, and the incident in Portland happened at 11:23 p.m. in that time zone. 

Viewers could see why a black man would feel singled out. But you also wonder why, if he wanted privacy, Massey didn't simply go to his room. Other guests appeared to be walking to their rooms, and not "loitering" in the lobby. It's also obvious that taking Massey to his room to get his things would certainly demonstrate he was a guest at the hotel.

In contrast with the other networks, Friday's CBS This Morning did at least inform viewers that, according to the police report, Massey "became loud and started yelling that the hotel was racist."

He also allegedly got angry and slid a hotel Bible across the floor while berating the security guard as he packed his items in his room, according to the police report. “While he was getting his belongings he took the Bible from the hotel room and slid it across the carpet toward Meyers and told him he needed to read it and learn how to be a human.” 

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