The reporter and cameraman for a deceptively-edited video report of protesters falsely shown to be chanting “kill a cop” have been fired. However, new questions have been raised about why the producer has been allowed to stay.
You may recall that about 10 days ago, Fox affiliate WBFF in Baltimore ran a story on police brutality protests by falsely reporting that a woman and protesters had chanted, “We won’t stop, we can’t stop, so kill a cop!” In reality, the protesters had chanted, “We can’t stop, we won’t stop until killer cops are in cell blocks.”
The station apologized but that did not mollify Tawanda Jones, the woman who led the chant. She questioned how that could really have been a mistake and expressed concern that her own safety had been compromised by the original reporting:
At the end of the day, people’s lives are on the line,” she said, tearfully. “Now, even though we’re doing this, I still don’t feel safe because I still feel like the message is out there.”
“What if a crazed-out cop or a crazed-out supporter thinks I’m trying to get cops killed?” she said.
But it looks like the controversy will not end with the firing of reporter Melinda Roeder and cameraman Greg McNair nor the one and two-day suspensions of news director Mike Tomko and a producer. According to Baltimore’s City Paper (via Raw Story), the newsroom thinks Tomko should be held responsible:
An insider told FTVLive Tomko was the one who pushed doing the story. “It was found by him, assigned by him and ultimately proofed by him,” the source said.
Now a person familiar with the situation tells City Paper the news director is losing control of the newsroom, with photographers threatening to stage a “sick out.”
“The reporters and photogs believe Tomko sacrificed two little people to save himself,” the source says.
It looks like this affiliate has adopted the Fox News Channel mantra: Personal responsibility is for other people.
Correction: Ms. Roeder's first name has been corrected.