Daily Caller:

CNN made a false claim Monday afternoon and various journalists ran wild with it.

It all started with a segment on CNN’s The Lead which quoted prominent white nationalist figure Richard Spencer as wondering if Jews were actually people. CNN host Jim Sciutto said, “of Jews Spencer said, ‘one wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem.'”

“That is an alt right leader Richard Spencer talking about Jews,” Sciutto added. CNN then had a panel with RealClearPolitics’ Rebecca Berg and The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser with the chyron “ALT-RIGHT FOUNDER QUESTIONS IF JEWS ARE PEOPLE.”

Except, Spencer did not make those remarks about Jews and was instead talking about political consultants on television.

Is it true that CNN published a report with a false claim about Spencer questioning if Jews are people at all?

  • 1
    Are you asking about what he said (i.e. the question is about Spencer) or whether CNN got it right /made a mistake/ deliberately falsified a quote (i.e. the question is about CNN's reliability or integrity)?
    – PhillS
    Feb 28 '17 at 7:27
  • 3
    No ad-hominem attacks please, @Mohammad. And the one cannot be fully be answered without the other.
    – user22865
    Feb 28 '17 at 7:57
  • 2
    I really see three questions here, really -- 1) did CNN publish this, 2) did Richard Spencer really say it, and if the answer to 2) is "no", 3) did CNN "make it up" or is there another explanation. Only a yes - no - yes would make it "fake news" (regardless of the inflationary way the Trump administration is using the term).
    – DevSolar
    Feb 28 '17 at 9:07
  • 1
    For anyone (like me) who was wondering: chyron -an electronically generated caption superimposed on a television or movie screen.
    – DenisS
    Feb 28 '17 at 15:07
  • 1
    Does anyone else see the humor in the claim of using 'golem' - a concept from Jewish mythology - to describe Jews?
    – jamesqf
    Feb 28 '17 at 19:51

CNN Anchor and Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper confirms that the CNN caption (chyron) reading "ALT-RIGHT FOUNDER QUESTIONS IF JEWS ARE PEOPLE" was real, in a Twitter conversation about the dangers of normalising extremism:

yes, I'm off this week and I'm furious about that chyron and my staff has heard from me. Unacceptable.

The Richard Spencer quote is also real, but he made it in a segment of his speech about "the mainstream media", or as he calls it, "Lügenpresse".

The mainstream media. Perhaps we should refer to them in the original German, "Lügenpresse".


It’s not just that they are leftists and cucks. It’s not just that many are genuinely stupid. Indeed one wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem animated by some dark power to repeat whatever talking point John Oliver stated the night before.

You can watch a cut of this segment of the speech here.

Taking a closer look though, the quote isn't exactly free of Jewish reference:

  • He used the term "Lügenpresse", a German word meaning "lying press", which was notably used by the Nazis in their anti-Jew propaganda.
  • "Golem" is a Hebrew word used in Jewish folklore to describe inhuman creatures.

Some might argue this was solely about the "mainstream media", but others may argue there is dog whistle politics at play.

This is definitely a quote which is tough to take out of context.

  • People actually use "cuck" in verbal communication now?
    – JAB
    Feb 28 '17 at 16:36
  • 4
    Richard Spencer does - I hope he's not representative... Feb 28 '17 at 16:37
  • @JAB "Cuckservative, cuck: The term "cuckservative" originated in the alt-right. It's a portmanteau of "conservative" and "cuckold" used to describe Republicans who are perceived to be emasculated or "selling out."." Feb 28 '17 at 16:44
  • 3
    It's not unusual for people of fringe groups to use different vocabularies.
    – fredsbend
    Feb 28 '17 at 20:27
  • 3
    @MohammadSakibArifin I think you may be mistaking expectations of opinions with facts. CNN is claiming his followers might interpret his words as support for a Jewish control theory, not that Jews control anything or even that he claims Jews control anything.
    – user36688
    Feb 28 '17 at 21:40

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