FWPD apologizes to WFAA for calling report 'incomprehensible' and 'unethical'

The Fort Worth Police Department issued a press release Friday apologizing to WFAA-TV and producer Chris Guillory for calling their reporting about an April 30 murder near the Rainbow Lounge “incomprehensible and unethical.” WFAA’s original May 1 story has since been removed from the station’s website, but here’s a line from it that I lifted for this blog at the time: “Investigators are not sure of the circumstances that left the unidentified man dead in the parking lot of the business in the 600 block of South Jennings Avenue.”

As it turned out, the man’s body was found in the 500 block of South Cannon Street, a few blocks away, prompting FWPD to slam WFAA in an Editor’s Note for linking the crime to last year’s raid on the gay bar. Now then, here’s Friday’s apology from FWPD:

The FWPD apologizes to WFAA-TV producer, Chris Guillory, and to WFAA-TV for calling their initial coverage of the tragic events of April 30, 2010 “incomprehensible and unethical” as well as “purposefully misleading” and would like to thank WFAA-TV for running a correction to the initial story.

FWPD hereby retracts the above-mentioned statements and suggestions. Although the story posted on WFAA-TV’s web site was attributed to Chris Guillory, FWPD acknowledges that Mr. Guillory was not the reporter at the scene.  Any characterizations about the story attributed to Mr. Guillory are specifically retracted.

FWPD will continue to monitor media characterizations of news events for accuracy and will strive to address inaccuracies in a rapid and professional manner.

As far as I know, we’re the only outlet who published the Editor’s Note, although it presumably was distributed to all media. So for the record, we’re sorry too, WFAA, although I’m pretty sure you can’t sue us.

—  John Wright