Thoughtcrime: D.C. Reporter Suspended for Accurate Report on BP’s Donations to Obama
WJLA-TV, a Washington, D.C. ABC affiliate, suspended reporter Doug McKelway following his alleged “partisan” comments at a liberal rally on Capitol Hill marking the three-month anniversary of the Gulf oil spill. Video of the broadcast tells a different story:
Apparently facts are now “partisan.”
McKelway stuck to the truth about BP’s political contributions and pending cap-and-trade legislation, newsworthy subjects given that the event’s organizers were lobbying to “pass legislation to end America’s addiction to oil and urged lawmakers to donate campaign money raised from the oil industry to the clean-up efforts in the Gulf.”
According to the Washington Post, it was McKelway’s supposedly controversial comments on July 20 that led to his suspension. Anonymous sources at the station are now accusing him of “insubordination” in an apparent attempt to fire him.
McKelway’s live report began with a factually correct statement about BP’s donations to President Obama. McKelway accurately noted that Obama received $77,051 from the BP employees, information verified by the Center for Responsive Politics.
When McKelway asked one of the event’s participants to comment on it, Ted Glick of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network acknowledged it was a problem for Obama. The rally was organized by left-wing groups Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and Public Citizen.
At the end of the live segment, McKelway talked about the prospect of cap-and-trade legislation in the Senate, a topic related to the rally, which urged lawmakers to “take immediate action to pass climate and energy legislation.”
Nevertheless, the Washington Post, quoting anonymous sources, indicated McKelway’s report crossed the line. The newspaper reported:
According to several of McKelway’s colleagues, the newsman’s reporting may have lapsed into partisan territory when he commented live on the air about the oil industry’s influence in Washington, particularly its contributions to Democratic politicians and legislators.
This is absolutely absurd. The Post’s decision to use anonymous sources to smear McKelway was bad enough, but reporter Paul Farhi also wrote a subjective description of the broadcast instead of simply stating the facts. The newspaper’s own reporters engage in flagrant partisan behavior on a daily basis.
WJLA’s station manager and news director declined to comment on the personnel matter. McKelway isn’t talking either.
Based on what we know — and discounting the questionable and anonymous sources in Farhi’s story — it appears this is a classic case of the mainstream media silencing those who report inconvenient truths about this administration. McKelway is a veteran newsman who has consistently strived for balance in reporting. Unfortunately, in a news environment like Washington, D.C, liberals don’t always like the facts. In this case, McKelway appears to have suffered the consequences.