CNN humbly apologizes to Kenya (full text)

A few days before POTUS, president Barack Hussein Obama graced his homeland, Cable News Network (CNN) which is a leading news TV channel described Kenya as ‘ a hotbed of terror,’ something that annoyed Kenyans, especially KOT (Kenyans On twitter) who immediately hit back with a hash tag that went viral, #someonetellcnn.

You might think that it was a small issue but you were wrong. After Barack Obama’s maiden visit to Kenya, the government of Kenya decided to ‘peacefully part ways’ with CNN international. It even went further to withdraw an advertising deal it had struck with the giant news network.

On Thursday, CNN’s global Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Tony Maddox flew from Atlanta into Nairobi, Kenya to apologize. He met President Uhuru Kenyatta in State House to offer his apology.

Tony Maddox said, “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. There is a world at a war with extremists; we know what a hotbed of terror looks like, and Kenya isn’t one,”

 President Kenyatta on the other hand said:
“Today I held a meeting with CNN’s Global Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Tony Maddox, who called on me at State House, Nairobi. He personally delivered an apology on behalf of CNN International and expressed deep regret after portraying Kenya as a ‘hotbed of terror’ ahead of a visit to Nairobi by President Barack Obama last month. He admitted that the description of Kenya as a “hotbed of terror” was both ill fitting and undeserved. I expressed my deep disappointment at the story not only on behalf of the government, but also because it angered the people of Kenya. I reiterated that the war on terror was a global threat, not exclusive to Kenya, and that Kenya’s troops and her people have made great sacrifices and still do, to keep Kenya and the region safe. 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. Kenya is nothing like the countries that have real war. There was no reason to portray Kenya in that way.”

I hope Tony Maddox was sincere with his apology, Kenyans are enemies of impunity.



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