TV station backs off accusation that CNN played politics

NEW YORK — An executive at a San Diego television station that accused CNN of rejecting an appearance by one of its reporters for political reasons conceded Friday he didn’t really know why the network turned him down.

After CNN reached out to KUSI-TV to see if reporter Dan Plante would come on the air Thursday to talk about how a border barrier was working in the San Diego area, the segment never happened. CNN said plans change all the time, and that the network chose to have its own reporters talk about border security. But KUSI saw other motivations.

Steve Cohen, KUSI’s news director, said he told CNN that it might not want Plante because his reporting has concluded that a border wall there has worked well, and that such a conclusion might not fit the cable network’s “narrative” against the wall. He said he never got a call back.

Cohen decided to inform KUSI’s viewers of the alleged rejection.

“We believe CNN declined a report from KUSI because we informed them that most border patrol agents we have spoken to told us the barrier does in fact work,” the station said on its website, and followed up with a report on its air.

“They didn’t like what they heard from us,” anchor Anna Laurel said.

CNN said it had also reached out to reporters at other local stations about a possible segment but didn’t follow through when the plans changed. “This happens many times every single day,” the network said in a statement. “This is a non-story.”

Cohen said he never actually spoke to anyone about CNN about why Plante wasn’t used.

“It’s certainly plausible that they didn’t want it for the viewpoint, or they just didn’t want it,” he said. “Both are plausible conclusions. I made one rather than the other.”

KUSI-TV is unaffiliated with any broadcast network and owned by McKinnon Broadcasting Co. Its general manager, Michael McKinnon, was described by the San Diego Business Journal as a “longtime supporter of conservative causes and candidates in the San Diego area.”

CNN noted that it had aired another report from KUSI about border security in November.

Just Posted

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

Trump Russia probe finally delivers some answers

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is getting some… Continue reading

Trans Mountain Pipeline deadline extended

OTTAWA — The federal government is delaying a decision on the Trans… Continue reading

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

Lower price discounts to boost Q1 oil profits but uncertainty hangs over sector

CALGARY — Lower discounts on western Canadian oil prices have swollen producer… Continue reading

Local Sports: Hard training pays off for Red Deer runner Jared Howse

Jared Howse understands success doesn’t come easily. The 17-year-old has put together… Continue reading

CRA’s automatic benefit registrations give retirees reason to file on time

TORONTO — This is the time of year when procrastinators begin to… Continue reading

Study: Genetic test predicts middle-aged obesity risk

NEW YORK — Can a genetic test identify newborns at risk of… Continue reading

Downtown Red Deer Co-op Plaza Food store closing

Central Alberta Co-op is closing its downtown Red Deer Plaza food store… Continue reading

Earth, meet Polo: Ralph Lauren unveils plastic bottle shirt

NEW YORK — Earth, meet Polo. Polo Ralph Lauren on Thursday launched… Continue reading

Statistics Canada reports retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in February

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says retail sales rose 0.8 per cent in… Continue reading

Inflation rises 1.9% on higher prices for fresh vegetables, mortgage costs

OTTAWA — Canada’s annual inflation was up last month as price pressures… Continue reading

Most Read