FLASHBACK: Nets Downplayed Warren’s Dubious Native American Claims

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Elizabeth Warren’s floundering presidential campaign grinded to an end on Thursday with the liberal Democrat finally dropping out. In recent weeks, Warren has been complaining about her media coverage, sending out a campaign e-mail that whined, “We can’t count on the media to cover our campaign fairly, so we’re taking our case directly to voters.” 

In reality, the Democrat should be thankful for media efforts to cover up her gaffes, including downplaying her false claim of Native American heritage and her dubious assertion that she was fired from a job over being pregnant. 

Throughout her presidential run, Warren attempted to deal with her embarassing efforts to pretend to be a Native American. This is the same woman who tried to be seen as a Cherokee and who contributed to the cookbook Pow Wow Chow. 

On August 19, 2019, CBS reporter Ed O’Keefe gently reminded, “You’ll remember she faced backlash last year for releasing a DNA test revealing that she has a very small trace of Native American ancestry.” 

“Very small” is a generous way of putting it because she’s actually 1/1024 Native American. O’Keefe then assisted the 2020 Democrat in dismissing the controversy: “Voters and Native American activists we’ve spoken to say that DNA flap is much ado about nothing, even though, of course, the President occasionally makes light of it.”


The New York Times Magazine on June 17, 2019 offered a mammoth, 8000-plus word profile on Warren. The headline for this very long article informed readers, “Elizabeth Warren Is Completely Serious.” The sub-headline sounded even more like a press release: “About income inequality. About corporate power. About corrupt politics. And about being America’s next president.” 

Mentions of her Native American scandal? They were limited to one paragraph. 

In November of 2017, Donald Trump mocked Warren as “Pocahontas.”  The three networks downplayed Warren’s lies and hyped attacks on the President’s “racial slur.” 

However, there was one occasion when Warren’s blundering gaffes were too much even for the liberal media. In 2018, she took a DNA test in an attempt to bolster her Native American claims. It didn’t go well. 

On October 16, 2018, Good Morning America and CBS This Morning quoted from a Cherokee Nation statement eviscerating Warren: “Senator Warren is undermining tribal interests with her continued claims of tribal heritage.” GMA’s Mary Bruce noted, “Current DNA tests do not even distinguish whether a person’s ancestors were indigenous to North or South America.”  



In general, journalists are pretty tone deaf when they cover Warren’s misrepresentations about being a Native American. On Thursday, MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell reminsiced about whether the Massachusetts Democrat would get into the 2016 race. She offered an unfortunate turn of phrase: “I remember, we were staking out Hillary Clinton’s house when Warren went over for the big powow.”



In October of 2019, when it was revealed that she has told shifting stories about being fired from a principal job for being pregnant, ABC, CBS and NBC skipped it. The MRC’s Kristine Marsh explained

However this story caught the attention of Bernie Sanders supporter Meagan Day on Twitter and Jeryl Bier at The Script this week, who both pointed out she told a very different story in 2007. Namely, that Warren was only in a temporary teaching position because she didn’t have the credits and would have to go back to school if she wanted to keep her position. Because of her soon-to-be-born child, she decided it wasn’t a good time and left her job. 

Whether it’s this scandal or the Native American claims, journalists have largely been willing to buy whatever tall tale Warren has been promoting. 

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