CNN has been getting heat for its record-low ratings and declining relevance as a news destination and now the network is under fire for labeling heavy metal band Hatebreed a white power group.
In a CNN.com story posted on Aug. 8 about the recent Sikh temple shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, in which 41-year-old shooter Wade Page was identified as “a white supremacist skinhead” who played in several white power bands including End Apathy and Definite Hate, author Lonnie Nasatir, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Upper Midwest Region, lists bands whose names and essence “defiantly express feelings of hate or violence.”
Among them: Aggravated Assault, Angry Aryans, Attack, Definite Hate, Final Solution, Force Fed Hate, Fueled by Hate, Hate Crime, Jew Slaughter and White Terror and the Connecticut band Hatebreed. Only one problem: the group Hatebreed, despite its name and a 2006 album called Supremacy, identifies itself as a metalcore band that espouses harmony. “Our music brings people of all races together all over the world, @CNN need to get their facts straight,” the band tweeted in a series of angry missives, which included, “Writers like Lonnie Nasatir are the reason why the American media is looked at as a complete joke.”
Taking issue with the website, Hatebreed wrote: “CNN loses all respect … now they slander us. We demand a retraction & an apology. #hacks.” The five-member group also encouraged its fans to “stay relentless … until they remove our name from their article & print a retraction/apology.”
In the end, it only took about 30 minutes for the site to remove Hatebreed from their story and update it with a correction that read: “A previous version of this commentary incorrectly included the band Hatebreed in a list of white power bands. Hatebreed is a self-described ‘hardcore metal’ band. CNN regrets the error.”
But many Hatebreed devotees remain furious. Among the comments posted on Twitter: “Typical sloppy, damaging journalism towards a non-racist, positive attitude band,” wrote one such fan. Said another: “Hatebreed should sue you for defamation.”
The band’s label, New York-based eOne Music, had no further comment.