A day before President Barrack Obama's arrival in Kenya, for his first official visit, the news channel had referred to Kenya as "terror hotbed” The comment sparked public outcry and angry reactions on social media. Kenyans called out CNN over the comment, hurling abuses and sarcastic humour under the hashtag
#SomeoneTellCNN. Tony Maddox, CNN’s global Executive Vice President and Managing Director on Thursday Aug 13th flew from Atlanta to Nairobi to personally apologize to President Uhuru Kenyatta and Kenyans over the undermining report.
The hashtag quickly spread and in no time became the number trending topic. The Kenyan government however went further to reprimand the station by withdrawing its advertising campaign in the station for what the country’s Tourism Board describe as the “misrepresentation of the country’s status.”
President Kenyatta expressed his deep disappointment at the report. He reiterated that the war on terror was a global threat and not unique to Kenya. He further added that CNN's report was unfortunate and ill-timed, since it came at a critical moment in Kenya's history and made a mockery of the sacrifices of Kenyan's men and women in uniform.
According to reports, Tony Maddox who oversees CNN’s global editorial policy admitted that CNN’s description of Kenya as a “hotbed of terror” was both undeserved and ill- conceived during a meeting at the Kenyan presidential villa.
“We acknowledge there is a widespread feeling that the report annoyed many, which is why we pulled down the report as soon as we noticed. It wasn’t a deliberate attempt to portray Kenya negatively, it is regrettable and we shouldn’t have done it" Maddox said. "There is a world at a war with extremists; we know what a hotbed of terror looks like, and Kenya isn’t one,” he added.