Media Bias Update: CBS Affiliate Caught Desiring "Person Of Perversion" To Vilify Conservative Candidate
October 31st, 2010
Wall Street Journal
By Vauhini Vara
Employees at a CBS affiliate in Anchorage left an accidental voicemail for an aide to GOP Senate candidate Joe Miller in which they discussed and laughed about the possibility of reporting on the appearance of sex offenders at a Miller rally. And they chatted about responding with a Twitter alert to “any sort of chaos whatsoever” including the candidate being “punched.”
Jerry Bever, general manager for KTVA, said in a statement that a call to Miller spokesman Randy DeSoto to discuss the candidate’s planned appearance on a newscast wasn’t disconnected after the conversation ended. The call took place during a KTVA staff meeting to plan coverage of that evening’s Miller rally in downtown Anchorage.
Mr. Miller is opposed by fellow Republican Lisa Murkowski, who is running as a write-in candidate after being defeated by Mr. Miller in the August primary, and Democrat Scott McAdams.
On Sunday, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin fumed about the KTVA recording during an appearance on Fox News Sunday. She told host Chris Wallace that Mr. Miller “has had to put up with up against the GOP machine and the Democrats and the liberal media in Alaska. It’s no wonder that the numbers are tightening in that race.” She also said, “We have the tape, Chris, and I can’t wait till it busts out all over the nation to show what it is that we — kind of what I put up with for two years now with the media — but what Joe Miller is faced with in dealing with somebody who feels — Lisa Murkowski – so entitled to that seat that she and some of her people, including some complicits in the media, will do anything. They will stop at nothing…”
In the station’s statement, Mr. Bever said many elements of the Miller campaign’s analysis of the recording was incorrect including its “interpretation of conversation snippets.”
“The perception that this garbled, out of context recording may leave is unfortunate, but to allege that our staff was discussing or planning to create or fabricate stories regarding candidate Miller is absurd,” he said. “The complete conversation was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign, not what KTVA could do.”
He added, “Have we had internal discussions about the level of professionalism we need to bring to our conversations, internally and externally? Of course we have, this is a lesson to learn from.”