Reporters from a CBS affiliate in Alaska recently left an accidental voicemail message for an aide to Senate candidate Joe Miller, in which producers are heard discussing the possibility of reporting on the appearance of a child molester at a Miller rally. Essentially, they could be heard conspiring to create or fabricate stories. The incident was so outrageous, it prompted Sarah Palin to refer to the reporters as ‘corrupt bastards.’
After initially claiming their employees were taken out of context, the General Manager at KTVA has announced the termination of two individuals involved in the conversation.
In the press release, KTVA’s investigation states that:
“The recorded conversation in question specifically involved how that evening's Miller rally might be promoted and the ensuing dialogue went downhill from there. These particular comments were not in line with KTVA standards. As a result of this incident, the two producers involved in the recorded conversation are no longer with the station.”
This is a far cry from the station’s original response to the incident, in which they stated:
“The Miller campaign's analysis of the recording is incorrect in many material ways ranging from personnel involved in the conversation, the interpretation of conversation snippets and the reported transcript of the perceived garbled conversation."
But if this was simply a case of the producers being taken out of context, or a misrepresentation of a garbled conversation, why would it necessitate a firing?
In case you missed it, here is a transcript of the voice recording:
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: That’s up to you because you have the experience but that’s what I would do...I’d wait until you see who shows up because that indicates we already know something...
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER:Child molesters –
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: Oh, yes. Can you repeat Joe Miller's list of people, campaign workers, which one is the molester?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We know that out of all the people that will show up tonight, at least one of them will be a registered sex offender.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE REPORTER: You have to find that one person --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: And the one thing we can do is -- we won't know. We won't know but if there is any sort of chaos whatsoever, we can put out a Twitter/Facebook alert saying what the -- "Hey, Joe Miller punched at rally."
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE REPORTER: Kind of a like Rand Paul, I like that.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That's a good one.