Charlo Greene’s F-Bomb exit from Anchorage, Alaska CBS affiliate KTVA might have been good for internet clicks, but it may also cause collateral damage to the trust voters and viewers place in the results of the upcoming election and the station where she used to work.
According to the Alaska Dispatch News, Greene’s views on legalizing marijuana had been called into question by the initiative’s opposition after her five part series on the vote aired on KTVA.
After the series aired — days after Greene officially registered her Alaska Cannabis Club business under her legal name — Vote No On 2 campaign spokeswoman Deborah Williams met with KTVA’s news director, she said.
“We asked for a meeting with the news director,” Williams said. “ We sat down and spent at least an hour pointing out what we thought were the biases and inaccuracies in her stories and providing him with the information we thought to be crucial to include.”
Greene later admitted Williams’ suspicions were correct.
Greene, who could not be reached Monday for this story, told Vice.com that she went public because “polling is showing support is slipping” for the Alaska legalization initiative and she felt frustrated by what she saw as misinformation circulated by those against legalization.
“Otherwise I would have just been behind the scenes (in the media) the entire time, just making sure the fear mongering, and the non-facts they put out there that journalists never want to do the work to actually fact check themselves — I would have just stayed there to make sure it’s a fair fight,” she told Vice. “But polling has been showing that the fear-mongering is working, so I had to step away to make sure Alaskans know what’s really at stake. And the opportunity that is ahead of us.”
The Alaska Dispatch News also said some members of law enforcement questioned her reporting as well.
In August, Kalie Klaysmat, executive director of the Alaska Association of Chiefs of Police, wrote Rudman to complain about Greene’s reporting.
“When she spoke with me she seemed only interested in information that supported her point of view,” Klaysmat wrote in the letter. “She did not explore contrary information; she attacked it. That she seems to be the primary reporter covering marijuana issues and has such a strong personal opinion on this very divisive topic causes me to question the station’s editorial judgment.”
Taylor Bickford, the spokesman for the pro-legalization Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said the frenzy around Greene’s profane signoff could overshadow what he described as important issues raised by her reporting, including the status of medical marijuana patients in Alaska.