Wendy Bell, a popular anchor for a Pittsburgh television station WTAE, has lost her job over a personal Facebook post regarding the ambush shooting that left five people and an unborn baby dead. The parent company of the WTAE station, Hearst Television, said in a statement that Wendy Bell’s comments were “inconsistent with the company’s ethics and journalistic standards.”
According to MSN News on March 31, what Wendy posted was her idea of what the profile of the gunmen would look like and what she imagined their backgrounds would look like. This was despite the fact that no descriptions of the men were released and no one has been caught for these killings.
The Pittsburgh Post Gazette reports news of Bell’s firing drew hundreds of online posts, with many saying they will change their news channel if she is fired. People stood behind Bell in droves.
Talking about the horrific gunning down of these people, she said it was basically a no-brainer to “draw a mental sketch” of the gunmen who caused the carnage that afternoon. She assumed that the five black people killed in a poor section of the city were shot-down by black men with “multiple siblings from multiple fathers” and who have mothers who work “multiple jobs.”
She said “these boys know the system” and they “know the police” because they’ve been arrested before. In the same post many thought she was condescending when praising a black restaurant worker.
Bell apologized, but the deed was done and she no longer has a job reporting the news in the greater Pittsburgh area. She did say she apologized and that her words were “insensitive.” She also understood how her comments might have been viewed as racist, but that is not what she intended. The station also apologized calling the remarks made by Bell, “an egregious lack of judgement.”