CNN's Jim Clancy Steps Down After Anti-Israel Rant

Without giving reason, news anchor Jim Clancy resigned on Friday from CNN after 34 years.

Cynthia Blank ,

CNN (illustrative)
CNN (illustrative)

Veteran CNN news anchor Jim Clancy resigned on Friday, one week after posing a strange series of anti-Israel tweets on a Twitter thread discussing the Charlie Hebdo attack. 

Neither Clancy himself nor CNN gave an explanation for his departure, which was reported by AdWeek and confirmed by the news network. Clancy has worked as a news correspondent at CNN for 34 years. 

In a statement, a CNN spokesperson said, “Jim Clancy is no longer with CNN. We thank him for more than three decades of distinguished service, and wish him nothing but the best.”

Colleagues were informed by Clancy of his decision to step down via an email. 

"After nearly 34 years with Cable News Network, the time has come to say Farewell!" he wrote. 

"It has been my honor to work alongside all of you for all of these years. This is one of the greatest news organizations in the world. It has truly revolutionized information delivery while driving technological advances in how we gather the news."

"Through it all, CNN has been a family to my own family. That means something."

"As I reflect on all of the great adventures and achievements of the past, I wish you great success in the future."

Controversy sparked on January 7 when respondents to Clancy's initial tweet were attacked as being pro-Israel, despite not having brought Israel up at all.

Clancy claimed that the cartoons posted by satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo did not mock the Prophet Mohammed. 

“The cartoons NEVER mocked the Prophet,” he wrote. “They mocked how the COWARDS tried to distort his word. Pay attention.”

Upon being challenged on the veracity of the statement by Oren Kessler, a deputy director of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Clancy tweeted, “Hasbara?”

As other commenters joined in on the debate, Clancy argued “Pro-Israel voice [sic] try to convince us that cartoonists were really anti Muslim.”

He then accused a number of Twitter accounts as being part of a public relations campaign for Israel. One of those accounts, Jews Making News, is actually a virulently anti-Semitic neo-Nazi account. 

Clancy also told the Twitter account for Human Rights News, “You and the Hasbara team need to pick on some cripple at the edge of the herd.”

The unrepentant statements infuriated many, including Jay Ruderman, the head of the Ruderman Family Foundation, which advocates for greater integration of people suffering with disabilities. 

Ruderman demanded an apology from Clancy, who promptly blocked him. Undeterred, Ruderman contacted CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker through email and fax. 

Branding the "cripple" comment "appalling," Ruderman asked how "in this day and age a senior anchor at CNN, a world leader in the media, would use a word such as 'cripple', which is a derogatory term for people with disabilities."

On Thursday, Clancy appeared to have deleted his Twitter account of some 57,000 followers.