If Sen. Warren’s 2020 presidential bid is going to get off the launchpad, she first needs to cut loose some extra baggage — namely the decades she spent portraying herself as a racial minority.
Last October she thought she’d hatched the perfect scheme for doing exactly this: A DNA test purporting to show distant Native American ancestry, but which — upon closer examination — proved she was less Native American than the average American.
But in those intervening hours between Warren’s DNA announcement and people getting around to reading the fine print, many in the media uncritically accepted her claim.
On CNN’s New Day, hosts spent much of the morning touting these newly discovered “facts” that back up her claim of being an American Indian. This news, they said, meant President Trump was wrong to taunt Warren as “Pocahontas.”
"She took the DNA test, and what did it find?” CNN’s John Berman reported. “It found that she in fact does have Native American DNA."
His co-host, Alisyn Camerota, said, "It's her great-great — they believe that it's her great-great-great-grandmother."
Another CNN host, Wolf Blitzer, reported matter-of-factly: "Up next, Senator Elizabeth Warren hits back, releasing DNA test results that prove her Native American heritage."
And another CNN host, John King, likewise uncritically adopted Warren’s shambolic DNA claims, stating: "Her great-great-great-grandmother was at least partially Native American."
Warren has now “got the stats and facts to back up her claim,” CNN’s John Avlon said. "The idea that this claim this was a fraud, that she was lying about her family's heritage in the story that's been passed down is wrong."
Over on MSNBC, John Heilemann used the story to mock Trump: "She was confident about what the answer was going to be and she's finally telling him, 'Shut up! And here's some science for you, buddy. I know you don't understand how DNA works, but take a look at this.'"
Heilemann’s colleague, Nicolle Wallace, asked: “Is she sort of — is she out-Trumping Trump?"
For these and more, check out the montage above.