Bill Lamb, Fox41’s general manager, told viewers in a Point of View editorial yesterday why the station has refused to air Karen Cypher’s claims after it recorded an interview with her.
In the piece, under the headline “Exercising Journalistic Intergrity,” Lamb explains that it would be unethical and irresponsible to air Sypher’s unsubstantiated claims. Obviously answering to some of the station’s critics in the case, Lamb explains the difference between the claims being made by Sypher and allegations in a criminal or civil case. Until Sypher files an official lawsuit or complaint, her claims aren’t on an official record.
News organizations have free rein to report claims made in a lawsuit, no matter how absurd, but won’t broadcast a public accusation without proof.
Lamb says the interview is staying “in the can” until either the accusations are made public or the station is able to verify them.
So it’s likely the public will never see the full tape, and Lamb’s right — airing it would not be a responsible move. Still, we hope security over there is pretty tight, because that tape would be a pretty valuable commodity right now.
Maybe you’ll find it interesting to note that in last night’s newscast, Bennett Haeberle’s update of the story included details on the FBI’s questioning of Sypher and members of her family, information which he credited to “sources who chose not to be identified.”
His story revealed that Thomas Clay, Sypher’s attorney, didn’t expect any official action to take place this week.