When it came to covering the news of a white man shooting nine unarmed blacks in Charleston, S.C., CNSNews.com knew what it had to do: pander to the racial animosity of its right-wing readership by raising the specter of Al Sharpton.
Thus, CNS' first piece of original coverage of the Charleston shooting is an article by "CNSNews.com staff" posted at 7:54 a.m. on June 18 quoting Sharpton's statement about the alleged shooter: "Obviously he's deranged. Probably a hate crime."
Jones then undermined her own attempt to portray Sharpton as race-baiting over the shooting later in her article, when she noted that "Police described the mass murder as a hate crime." Oops.
This was embarrassing even by CNS' usual standards -- usually, its attempts to pander to its right-wing audience aren't this blatant. CNS seemed to recognize this, as the article didn't last long on its front page.
Strangely, CNS tried to play this same card a couple hours later, with an article by Melanie Hunter noting that Attorney General Loretta Lynch is launching a hate crimes investigation into the shooting. While Hunter noted that the shootings occured at "a historic black church," she curiously didn't note that the suspect, Dylann Roof, is white.
Plus, it turns out that Sharpton and Lynch's suspicions were proven correct: Law enforcement officials said the shooter rose during a prayer service, declaring that he was there to kill black people.
The only other bit of what passes for original reportage at CNS on the Charleston shooting is another piece by Hunter, this time quoting a sermon given by one of the victims, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, in April after "Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, had been gunned down by former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager." Hunter didn't mention that Slager was white, or that Scott was running away from Slager at the time he was shot.