It is rare for newsreaders to show any type of emotion, no matter how tragic the subject they are reporting on. But a CNN news anchor broke down in tears on live television after a guest used a racial slur, and later came under fire from social media users.

Author Charles Kaiser appeared on broadcast journalist Brooke Baldwin's segment on Tuesday (22 November) and criticised new American president Donald Trump's decision to appoint Steve Bannon as Chief White House Strategist.

Joined by Trump supporter and commentator Paris Dennard for the three-way remote interview, Kaiser stated that the president-elect's Chief Strategist Bannon had used the N-word, and used the offensive word in full.

In a dramatic turn of events, anchor Baldwin interrupted Kaiser by stating: "Please don't use the N-word on my show."

A few moments later, the 37-year-old anchor addressed viewers and said: "Alright, gentlemen. We're done. We're done. I appreciate both of your voices.

"The more I've sat here and listened to the fact that somebody used the N-word on the show... It is not OK!" she added.

She subsequently broke down in tears live on TV, before continuing: "It is not OK. Charles Kaiser, I respect you. I enjoy having you on as a guest but... not OK.

"By the way, the claim that Mr Bannon used the N-word – I've never heard of this. So there's that. Take a break."

Kaiser later apologised for the on-air mishap for "misattributing" the quote to Steve Bannon. He told the Washington Post that he meant to say that Trump Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions had used the slur and not Bannon.

Later on, Baldwin tweeted about the incident, writing: "Whether you're quoting someone or not, using the n-word on my show is not okay. Period."

She was met with an overwhelming amount of support from her followers, with one user replying with: "Huge respect for u @BrookeBCNN but plz know many of us have no fear of that word. Our concern is a racist WH ignoring our rights/interests."

Another added: "by being scared of that word you give it power. The context was completely appropriate, esp. in regards to a cabinet member."

Others questioned Baldwin's reaction to the racial insult, with one user commenting: "Instead of being upset at a quote, get mad over having a racist as the President-Elect's chief advisor being quoted saying that @BrookeBCNN."

Another added: "Your response was absurd. Be upset with the person who made the original statement, not the person quoting it," as someone else responded with: "he was condemning use of that word and yes he used the word while doing it. By over reacting you trivialized his point. #growup".

brooke baldwin
CNN news anchor Brooke Baldwin CNN