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CNN journalist Elise Labott suspended after posting message of support for Syrian refugees on Twitter

Elise Labott tweeted: 'House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish'

Alexandra Sims
Friday 20 November 2015 08:23 GMT
Elise Labott later apologised for the tweet
Elise Labott later apologised for the tweet (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

An American news network has suspended one of its journalists after she posted a critical tweet about the House of Representatives passing a bill to pause a program allowing Syrian refugees into the US.

Elise Labott, CNN's global affairs correspondent, has been suspended for two weeks after tweeting a CNN story about the bill with the words: “Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish”.

Eight hours later Ms Labott posted a further tweet, apologising for her earlier post, which remains online.

She said: “It was wrong of me to editorialize. My tweet was inappropriate and disrespectful. I sincerely apologise.”

Ms Labott’s original post has been re-tweeted over two thousand times and liked over three thousand times.

It has been met with many comments supporting her position.

One user, Stu Stein, replied: “France accepts 30,000 while we cower in fear." Another, Fleur du Monde, said: “Thank you [Elise Labott] for being moral in a time when so few are”.

Fellow journalists have also voiced their support for Ms Labott. Indian-American journalist Rajiv Chandrasekaran said: “Things I can say since leaving WaPo: Bravo [Elise Labott] for what you tweeted about refugee bill.”

Others questioned whether the tweet revealed an unfair bias.

CNN has a stringent social media policy for its reporters: “If you publically declare your preference for issues or candidates or one side or the other of the public policy issues CNN reports on, then your ability to be viewed as objective is compromised," Variety reports.

The US House of Representatives, overwhelmingly passed Republican-backed legislation on Thursday to suspend Obama's program to admit 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next year and then intensify the process of screening them.

The measure, quickly drafted this week following the attacks in Paris that killed 129 people, was approved on a vote of 289-137.

It would require high-level officials - the FBI director, the director of national intelligence and homeland security secretary - to verify that each Syrian refugee poses no security risk.

Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said it was important to act quickly "when our national security is at stake."

Additional reporting by Reuters

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