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CNN’s Inconsistencies: ‘What Determines When Someone Gets Fired or Reprimanded?’

Roland Martin, sidelined from CNN for the time-being, will meet with representatives of GLAAD this week following their successful call to have him removed from the network for sending out Tweets they say constitutes gay bashing.

It took two and a half days, from the time the Tweets were sent during the Super Bowl, until CNN’s announcement, that Martin would be suspended. CNN says it was “giving careful consideration” to the matter. But Tampa Bay Times TV critic Eric Deggans, who calls Martin “a friend,” thinks the mess shows an inconsistency on CNN’s part:

[C]onservative commentator Dana Loesch sparked a load of criticism by saying on CNN she would have joined in with U.S. Marines captured in a video urinating on dead Afghans. Despite condemnation of the action by U.S. government and military officials and complaints about her statement, Loesch was not suspended.

But when anchor Rick Sanchez made angry comments during a 2010 radio interview which some said were anti-Semitic (he denied that interpretation), he was fired. And so was Octavia Nasr, a CNN employee who was let go after tweeting of her sorrow over the death of a leader from terrorist group Hezbollah.

It is hard to discern a pattern or set of policies in all these precedents. What determines when someone gets fired or reprimanded? Is it just the difference between who complains about the mistake?

Martin’s suspension from CNN comes as MSNBC continues to weigh the future of its longtime political analyst Pat Buchanan, who has been off the air since last Fall. MSNBC sidelined Buchanan during his book tour. In early January, network president Phil Griffin said he’d soon be meeting with Buchanan to talk about the future, adding, “Pat is a good guy. Some of his ideas are alarming.”

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