CNN apologises to Kenya for ‘hotbed of terror’ remarks

CNN apologises to Kenya for ‘hotbed of terror’ remarks

Weeks after Kenyans on social media blasted Cable News Network (CNN) for calling Kenya a ‘hotbed of terror’, CNN’s Global Executive Vice President and Managing Director Tony Maddox flew to Nairobi personally to deliver an apology to President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Maddox, who looks after CNN’s global editorial policy, admitted that the description of Kenya as a ‘hotbed of terror’ was both ill-fitting and undeserved.

“We acknowledge there is a widespread feeling that the report annoyed many, which is why we pulled down the report as soon as we noticed. It wasn’t a deliberate attempt to portray Kenya negatively, it is regrettable and we shouldn’t have done it,” Maddox added.

President Kenyatta expressed his deep disappointment at the story not only on behalf of the government, but also because it angered the people of Kenya.

The President  added that CNN’s misrepresentation of Kenya was unfortunate and ill timed, since it came at a critical moment in Kenya’s history.

Kenya was hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit and U.S. President Barack Obama was in the country for his first visit as a head of state.

Kenyatta added that CNN’s depiction of Kenya made a mockery of the sacrifices of Kenya’s men and women in uniform.

“In one stroke, CNN’s description of Kenya as a ‘hotbed of terror’ undermined the sacrifices made by our Kenyan troops, and the value of hundreds of lives lost, and relegated them to nothing. That’s why Kenyans, as expressed by those on Twitter, were so angry,” the President said.

Using the hash tag #UhuruTellsCNN, Kenyatta articulated his disappointment on Twitter and the trend shot to the top of the Kenya trends pane. Kenyans on Twitter joined the conversation reaffirming the President’s position.

This is not the first time that Kenya’s social media response has elicited and apology from a foreign body. In 2012, Kenyans on Twitter blasted Korea Air for an advertisement where they encouraged tourists to visit Kenya to see the country’s “primitive energy”.

Social media users expressed fury over the racist remarks prompting the airline to pull down the advert and issue an apology.


Additional information by PSCU

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Joy Chelagat
Story By Joy Chelagat
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