In a statement, Anchorage TV station KTVA denies that the a voicemail recording of several KTVA employees shows any intention to smear Republican senate candidate Joe Miller’s campaign. The Miller campaign had said the voicemail showed KTVA reporters were “openly discuss creating, if not fabricating, two stories.”
“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,” said KTVA general manager Jerry Bever, but did not specifically say whether assignment editor Nick McDermott, whose phone the call had been place from, was or was not speaking in the call. Bever did not dispute that all the speakers were KTVA employees.
Admitting that “the recording is real,” Bever defended the conversation, saying that “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.” He did not explain what had lead KTVA to anticipate a child molester and/or violence being present during a Miller campaign event.
“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,” added Bever. “The complete conversation was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign, not what KTVA could do.”
The station did not immediately respond to a request seeking clarification on what exactly the Miller campaign had allegedly misrepresented in their press release and transcript. The Miller campaign has also released the audio of the voicemail, which appears to match up with the transcript provided by the campaign.