CNN was forced to correct the record on Monday after the network helped a woman who was depicted as the “mother” of three kids raise more than $230,000 to keep them all from being evicted after discovering she really wasn’t their mom after all.
The left-leaning network helped raise funds for the woman by pushing a GoFundMe page to help her cover the rent on the heels of a legal challenge to the Biden administration’s renewed eviction moratorium, which was issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention despite a June Supreme Court ruling in which a majority of justices found the initial moratorium unconstitutional.
But as it turned out, the woman at the center of the report was not the mother of three children depicted in the story.
Last week, network correspondent Nick Watt connected with Dasha Kelly as he worked on a story regarding the July 31 lapse of the first eviction moratorium. In his report, he referred to the three kids as “her little girls” as a chyron ran on screen that read, “Mom Braces For Eviction.”
The reporter went on to note that Kelly had lost her job thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and as such could no longer afford to pay for childcare. The three girls were also featured on-screen for the report.
However, the three girls aren’t Kelly’s children.
“Update: After CNN aired a story about her potential eviction, Dasha Kelly clarified to CNN that she is not the mother of the three children featured in the story,” said a correction that editors added to CNN’s original report.
“CNN has verified she takes care of the children in her home for periods of time. She says she originally described herself to CNN as a mother because she considers herself to be like one to them,” the correction noted further.
The children, Sharron, 8; Kia, 6; and Imani, 5, actually belong to her boyfriend, CNN would later add to the story.
Initially though, perhaps for the purpose of fundraising, Kelly allowed herself to be depicted as the children’s mother.
“Dasha Kelly has started a GoFundMe page to try and cover that rent, $2,000. It’s a Hail Mary, she says she’s praying for a miracle, hoping for a miracle,” Watt told CNN viewers, many of whom donated quickly after seeing the segment.
The GoFundMe account was also shared on CNN’s social media pages and wound up raising more than $230,000. The network brought Kelly and the three kids back for a follow-up segment that was emotional and included left-wing extremist Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) after the CDC announced its new moratorium preventing landlords from evicting tenants who are behind on rent payments.
When I say your Congresswoman loves you, this is what I mean.
Kelly, I may not be your representative, but I love you and I will not stop working to make sure you and every person in our country has what they need to thrive. pic.twitter.com/qoDjn0xGnk
— Congresswoman Cori Bush (@RepCori) August 5, 2021
“This is the least that we can do for you is to step up and make sure that you get to stay in the safety and comfort of your home, while we work on other things, to help make sure that your life and the lives of your children are better,” Bush said.
Now, however, the network is reporting that three children will be reuniting with their real mother ahead of the upcoming school year.
The headline for the original story, “More than $170,000 raised in 24 hours for mother and three kids facing eviction,” was later changed to read: “More than $170,000 raised in 24 hours for Las Vegas woman facing eviction.”
Following the corrections, however, Bush has yet to make any public statements about the misleading report and the money raised on behalf of Kelly, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday, adding that she recently gifted Republicans with a 2022 campaign message after the defend police supporter said she would gladly spend $200,000 on personal security.
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