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June 24, 2011 06:43 PM UTC

Channel 4 takes high road by not airing any stories about unproven Hancock-prostitute links

  • 2 Comments
  • by: Jason Salzman

(There is space for honest disagreement about this, and it’s a debate worth having – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Marching to the tune of journalistic integrity, Channel 4 has yet to air a story about Michael Hancock’s alleged ties to prostitutes.

“I said from the very beginning that this is a story we are going to pursue aggressively behind the scenes and conservatively on air,” News Director Tim Wieland at Channel 4, Denver’s CBS affiliate, told me. “The bar for reporting for this story is evidence. What I didn’t want to do was report on the process of our investigating. Once we had something concrete to report, some evidence to report, that we would do so. Because of the nature of the claim, and how sensational it is, the bar should be high.”

“We did all the same investigating that everybody else did,” he added. “In all that investigating, and we continue to investigate, we haven’t come up with evidence to support the claim. And so we haven’t done a news story about it.”

Wieland said his station published one story online explaining why Channel 4 did not accept Hancock’s conditions for reviewing cell phone records, but this story was deemed appropriate only for the station’s website.

“I’ll tell you, it was an extremely difficult decision. When you see everybody else out there doing it, and you’re the only one not. Believe me I did a lot of soul searching.  But at the end of the day, when you’re in this seat, you have to do what you feel is right. I had laid down the standard for our team, and it wouldn’t have been right for me to go back on it.”

But, says Wieland, CBS4’s investigation into the matter continues.

Comments

2 thoughts on “Channel 4 takes high road by not airing any stories about unproven Hancock-prostitute links

  1. for the story to be publicized when it was and that is to get a plea bargain cut for Brenda Stewart. All it took was one name, probably not the biggest, to get leaked and a plea emerged overnight. The probably fake robbery, and the plea make sure that all evidence will be locked tight.

    Any of the women working for either of the services involved have to be uncomfortable, and would likely not come forward.

    I do not believe that it came from anyone tied to the Romer campaign, or it would have been public sooner.

    I can say that if I were the Mayor-elect that I wouldn’t employ the law firm that handled the situation for him again.

  2. I don’t have an opinion about Mayor Hancock’s integrity or the validity of the story. I believe all people are innocent until proven guilty, and hammering them on rumours with no real evidence is unethical. Sadly, media consumers have de-evolved and there is no such thing as journalistic integrity. Pleasing the lowest common denominator makes money. Thank you to the one media outlet whose ethics are more important than their ratings/traffic.  

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