“PBS NewsHour” added a clarification to a recent report that profiled a supporter of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump after viewers and online commenters noticed the news program had not questioned one of the subjects who appeared to have tattoos on her person commonly associated with the white supremacist movement.
The omission of any reference to a markings on the hands of Grace Tilly, a 33-year-old North Carolina woman included in a profile broadcast on Tuesday, drew notice from websites like Gawker and Talking Points Memo. PBS later added editorial notes to the report online explaining that the report was part of a series that examines citizens’ political views and allows than to speak to the camera with little if any interruption.
“In our report Tuesday night on a North Carolina family that’s supporting Donald Trump, we were continuing a long NewsHour tradition of talking directly to voters.
We want to hear from them, in their own voices, speaking about what motivates their political preferences.
Regrettably, none of us at the NewsHour recognized the questions that could arise from Grace Tilly’s tattoos, and we didn’t raise them with her until after the report aired. At that point, our producer contacted Ms. Tilly and she insisted the tattoos are religious in nature and have nothing to do with a neo-Nazi theme or white supremacy.
We referenced her comments in an editor’s note, posted on our website.
Many of our online commenters have since let us know they reject that explanation. We’re now posting this note as a follow up.
We at the NewsHour remain committed to being as transparent as possible in covering this election.”
The report struck a chord after recent rallies and meetings during which Trump protesters have been harassed and as Trump promotes a platform that express a dim view of Muslims and Mexicans.