The Damage Report: CNN Analyst Rick Santorum Has No Grasp of History
NAJA urges Indigenous journalists to avoid working with CNN
Calls for Santorum’s dismissal
Monday, April 26, 2021

OKLAHOMA CITY, Oklahoma — The Native American Journalists Association strongly cautions Native American and Alaska Native reporters from working with, or applying to jobs, at CNN in the wake of continued racist comments and insensitive reporting directed at Indigenous people.

During its live Election Night coverage in November, CNN labeled Native American voters as “something else.” When asked by NAJA to issue an apology, CNN refused.

Last week, a CNN host incorrectly identified Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, as a white woman. The network has yet to correct its mistake.

Today, a video surfaced of CNN Senior Political commentator Rick Santorum speaking at the Young America’s Foundation’s Standing Up for Faith & Freedom Conference in which Santorum stated “we birthed a nation from nothing. I mean, there was nothing here. I mean, yes, we have Native Americans, but, candidly, there isn’t much Native American culture in American culture.”

NAJA calls on CNN to immediately dismiss Santorum from his position.

With a lack of accountability or ethics around multiple racist and insensitive comments from CNN staff, the Native American Journalists Association urges its members to avoid working with the network to avoid harassment and racism. NAJA also calls on advertisers, funders and journalism diversity organizations to withdraw their support from CNN indefinitely.


The Native American Journalists Association empowers Native voices in journalism. NAJA serves and empowers Native journalists through programs and actions designed to enrich journalism and promote Native cultures. NAJA recognizes Native Americans as distinct peoples based on tradition and culture. In this spirit, NAJA educates and unifies its membership through journalism programs that promote diversity and defends challenges to free press, speech and expression. NAJA is committed to increasing the representation of Native journalists in mainstream media. NAJA encourages both mainstream and tribal media to attain the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and responsibility.