CNBC Senior Economics Reporter Steve Liesman really put his foot in his mouth yesterday when introducing a new September unemployment report on air.
“We’re going to call this the Sen. Ted Cruz jobs report and the jobless claims of Sen. Ted Cruz,” Liesman said.
A picture of Cruz appeared on screen, which Liesman responded to by saying “There he is, there he is. Can we get some music to go along with that, some Mexican music maybe?”
Take a look for yourself:
Smooth move, Steve.
Not only was the Mexican music comment uncalled for, but it was also pretty ignorant. Cruz is of Cuban descent, not Mexican.
Also, a September jobs report has little to do with Cruz or the government shutdown, which ran from October 1 – October 16.
It’s not hard to imagine the outrage we’d see if a Fox News anchor flashed a picture of President Obama on the screen and said “Could we get some African music to go along with that, maybe?”
Liesman posted an apology on CNBC’s website today:
“Regarding my recent remark on Squawk Box regarding Senator Ted Cruz, I first want to deeply and sincerely apologize if my remarks were insensitive.
Second, I want to explain that it was not intended to be offensive in any way.
I thought of him only as an American senator from Texas, and in an attempt, on the fly, to choose music representing that state, I chose Mexican music.
As a musician for many decades, I've played and listened to tons of Texas songs infused with Mexican themes. A better choice would have been Country/Western or Texas Roadhouse Blues - it was a bad reach all the way around.”
Yes it was.
Here's an extended clip from the report: