Below, is a letter send by the Jackson County Republican Club to the local Kansas City, MO ABC affiliate after the station’s reporter attended a Todd Akin press conference organized by the club. The group continues to wait for a response from KMBC indicating whether or not the reporter’s actions were the standard operating procedures of the station:
THE JACKSON COUNTY REPUBLICAN CLUB
1009 North Cottage
Independence, Missouri 64050
Phone: (816) 252-7100 Fax: (816) 254-3468
September 24, 2012
KMBC Channel 9 — Sarah Smith, Station Manager
6455 Winchester Ave.
Kansas City, Missouri 64133
Dear Ms. Smith
A week ago at the Lee’s Summit Republican headquarters, TV Channel 9, among others, sent a news team to a Congressman Todd Akin, (candidate for US Senate) press conference. KMBC was represented by a cameraman and commentator Michael Mahoney. A completely remarkable tableau then unfolded. Newscaster Mahoney gave detailed and frequent instructions to his cameraman throughout the conference/interview by hand signals. If parts of the Congressman’s remarks were controversial, Mahoney would signal to keep the camera rolling. If the remarks seemed to give traction for favorable reception to a wide audience, the cameraman immediately received instructions to cut the recording. The actions of Mr. Mahoney were so obvious and blatantly biased for an unfavorable news clip to those present, that several independent observers afterward came together to voice their amazement that a news channel of KMBC’s reputation would engage in such practices.
Absence of Malice, a popular motion picture from the early eighties, had a charged scene where Paul Newman confronted Miami Herald reporter, Sally Fields, with flawed journalism. Viewers were given the defining line when Paul Newman angrily retorted, “… the truth? You don’t write the truth. You write what you think.” Mr. Mahoney’s actions revealed a more significant transgression: A week ago this reporter put together before those present an alternate reality. He assembled what he wanted the public to think.
We bring this to your attention for your response. We would like to know if Mr. Mahoney’s actions correspond with the management policies of KMBC Channel 9?
Jim Gamble – President
The Jackson County Republican Club