Despite Sarah Palin's accusations on Fox News Sunday that Alaska CBS affiliate KTVA "conspired to make up stories about Joe Miller", Dan Springer who is in Alaska reporting for Fox News told Megyn Kelly that he and his staff looked at some of KTVA's recent reporting and they could not find any obvious signs of bias or hit pieces against Joe Miller. Any time Andrew Breitbart is involved in another hit piece on the media, I'm going to be skeptical given his track record.
From Greg Sargent at The Plum Line -- Alaska station says Breitbart Web site audio attack is bogus:
Breitbart's Big Journalism site is making an incendiary accusation: That reporters at the Anchorage CBS affiliate KTVA were caught conspiring to damage Tea Party Senate candidate Joe Miller. Big Journalism posted a snippet of audio allegedly showing this: It features KTVA reporters talking among themselves while -- unbeknownst to them -- they were accidentally being recorded on the voicemail of Miller's campaign manager.
But it's unclear from the recording precisely what, if anything, was being plotted. And now the station is adamantly denying the charges, claiming the audio was clipped and taken out of the fuller context. KTVA general manager Jerry Bever sends over a statement claiming the "complete recording was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign."
If this is true, it wouldn't be the first time this has happened, as you may recall.
Big Journalism's audio was picked up on by Sarah Palin on Fox News this morning, and by the NRSC, which issued a statement claiming: "It should trouble all Americans that any member of the media would attempt to purposefully smear a nominee for the U.S. Senate."
KTVA released a statement to Politico today -- CBS affiliate: Palin, Miller charge 'absurd':
A press release issued Saturday October 30, 2010, by the Joe Miller campaign claims that KTVA personnel, "openly discuss creating, if not fabricating, two stories about Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Joe Miller." KTVA General Manager Jerry Bever says, "It's unfortunate that this recording has happened. It's unfortunate because it does not accurately reflect the journalistic standards of our newsroom and the garbled context will no doubt leave more questions than answers. 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."
"While the recording is real, the allegations are untrue," said Bever. "The recording was the result of a cell phone not being hung up after a call was placed to Randy DeSoto, Joe Miller campaign spokesperson, Thursday afternoon to discuss Joe Miller's appearance on that evening's newscast. That phone call was placed near the end of a coverage planning meeting in our newsroom regarding that evening's Miller rally in downtown Anchorage. The group of KTVA news personnel was reviewing potential "what-if" scenarios, discussing the likelihood of events at the rally and how KTVA might logistically disseminate any breaking news."
Bever continues, "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. The complete conversation was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign, not what KTVA could do."
While Bever would not discuss any personnel issues linked with the recording, Bever says "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."