Reporters Frustrated by Clip of Warren Being Compared to Dolezal: ‘Really Low Blow’

Elizabeth Warren
Elizabeth Warren / Getty Images

Several reporters expressed frustration Friday over a clip being spread of a radio host calling Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) "the original Rachel Dolezal."

Charlamagne Tha God, co-host of the popular "The Breakfast Club" radio show, compared Warren to her face to the notorious racial hoaxer over her longtime claims of Native American ancestry. Warren has apologized for listing her race as "American Indian" on a State Bar of Texas registration card in 1986, as well as for releasing a DNA test last year that showed, at best, a distant ancestor to bolster her claims.

Dolezal is a white woman who pretended to be black and even ran her local chapter of the NAACP before being exposed in 2015.

The clip got considerable attention online and led to "Rachel Dolezal" trending on Twitter.

CNN's Rebecca Buck noted the conversation went nearly 50 minutes and that it was "overwhelmingly positive"—the show's hosts aren't shy to ask tough questions but they clearly favor the Democratic Party.

"Warren got to dig into a lot of policy, and the hosts were really into her ‘we've got a plan for that' theme," Buck wrote. "But the Native American exchange will be what folks clip and share."

Matt Gertz of left-wing media watchdog Media Matters for America complained that the clip was flagged by America Rising, a GOP opposition research group, writing, "The ‘folks' doing the sharing are political reporters for major news outlets, who could choose to focus on the rest of the interview but instead tweet about the clip from the partisans."

The Washington Post‘s Dave Weigel retweeted Gertz's remark about America Rising and compared the potential fallout to that over Hillary Clinton's private email server story.

New York Times reporter Astead Herndon scolded outlets sharing the Dolezal clip by writing, "ask yourself, has your outlet written about native americans outside of Elizabeth Warren's DNA." He also said, "charlamagne's ascension on the ‘black people who non-black people think speak for all black people' power rankings has been incredible."

"I thought the Rachel Dolezal comparison was a really low blow," CNN's Nia-Malika Henderson said. "If you remember, this was a woman who darkened her skin and got a perm and passed for black."

Malika-Henderson said plenty of people from southern states—Warren hails from Oklahoma—make Native American ancestry claims.