The CBS affiliate in Anchorage, Alaska is defending itself against allegations from the campaign of GOP Senate nominee Joe Miller. The campaign claims the station was conspiring to make up stories to make Miller look bad. A recorded conversation from a KTVA planning meeting made the rounds on the web, former Governor-turned Fox News analyst Sarah Palin Tweeted that it was another example of the “Corrupt Bastards Club,” and the subsequent uproar prompted a response from CBS News headquarters in New York.
First the backstory: Miller’s campaign manager was talking on the phone with staffers at KTVA last Thursday. The cell phone at KTVA wasn’t hung up and the Miller campaign was recording the conversation as the staffers continued their meeting. Andrew Breitbart‘s BigJournalism has the audio and claims “the [KTVA] reporters were conspiring to set up some type of smear of Joe Miller.”
The station’s General Manager Jerry Bever vehemently denies that, responding on KTVA.com:
“While the recording is real, the allegations are untrue,” adding, “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. The complete conversation was about what others might be able to do to cause disruption within the Miller campaign, not what KTVA could do.”
After being inundated with phone calls, CBS News in New York released this statement late Sunday: “KTVA News is owned by the Alaska Broadcasting Co., not CBS. No CBS staffers were involved and CBS has no knowledge of and no comment on these allegations.”