While CNN’s “New Day” ignored a report alleging former Secretary of State John Kerry informed Iran about Israeli military actions, anchors John Berman, Brianna Keilar, and Laura Jarrett found time Tuesday to celebrate the firing of a man after he refused to address a female public health official as “Doctor.”
Jarrett claimed the interaction between former Greensboro (N.C.) Zoning Commission member Tony Collins, who is White, and UNC-Greensboro public health professor Dr. Carrie Rosario, who is Black, spoke to a larger issue about respect.
Jarrett then played a video clip of the interaction between Collins and Rosario, and the trio broke down the fallout. Kerry, the former Secretary of State who has denied reports he told his Iranian counterpart about Israeli covert operations in Syria, went unmentioned on Tuesday’s “New Day” broadcast, according a transcript search.
“I think that we’ve kind of lost our way on what we’re talking about here. We’re here to approve the standards that have been presented, and if Mrs. Rosario has something …,” Collins began before being interrupted by Rosario saying, “It’s Dr. Rosario, thank you.”
Collins continued, “If Mrs. Rosario has …” but was interrupted again by Rosario saying, “Dr. Rosario.”
“Well, you know, I’m sorry, your name says on here ‘Carrie Rosario.’ Hey, Carrie,” Collins said, before Rosario said again, “It’s Dr. Rosario.”
Collins attempted to continue speaking, but Rosario spoke over him saying, “I wouldn’t call you Tony, so please, sir, call me as I would like to be called. That’s how I identify myself.”
Following the video, Jarrett argued the story received attention because, in her view, many woman could empathize with Rosario because they’ve also had their credentials and accomplishments dismissed. She noted the video went viral, “and not in a good way for him.” The CNN chyron read, “City council fires man for ‘white privilege and entitlement.”
“I think the fact that he just kept dismissing her is just why it made people so angry,” she said.
“It felt like he was trying to take her down a notch, right? Make her less of an expert, which she is an expert on public health, and that should be acknowledged,” Keilar chimed in.
Jarrett then stated that it’s hard to obtain a PhD, and that Rosario put in a lot of work to achieve that for it to just be so quickly dismissed. Rosario is not a medical doctor, calling to mind the dust-up over First Lady Jill Biden’s honorific.
“She also asked really nicely several times in that exchange,” Berman said, before concluding the segment.
Following the meeting, the Greensboro City Council unanimously voted to remove Collins from his unpaid volunteer post, with Councilmember Sharon Hightower attributing the removal to Collins exhibiting “white privilege and entitlement,” according to the Rhino Times. Collins apologized for how he handled himself in the exchange.
“It was a very disrespectful exchange between an important commissioner and a public citizen,” said City Councilwoman Sharon Hightower, who called for the vote to remove Collins, according to the Charlotte Observer.