San Diego Local TV Journalists Gave to Presidential Campaigns

By Kevin Eck 

A KFMB reporter and a KUSI meteorologist have been identified by the Center for Public Integrity as local TV journalists who have contributed to presidential campaigns this election.

KFMB assignment editor Les Waldron gave $28 to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign.

“I’m a big, big fan of the United States Constitution,” said Waldron. “And Clinton ‘seems to care very little for the Constitution.’”

KUSI meteorologist and features reporter Dave Scott chose the Democratic National Committee for his $60 donation in the Fall of 2015.

In all, the CPI found “journalists, reporters, news editors or television news anchors — as well as other donors known to be working in journalism” gave nearly $400,00 to either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

“It’s one thing to have a personal bias. Everyone’s entitled to that,” Andrew Seaman, ethics committee chairman for the Society of Professional Journalists told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “It’s another thing to actually open up your wallet and put money into a candidate’s campaign. Then you’re actively trying to influence the election.”

“It just looks bad,” said Seaman. “You don’t want anything to show that you have a political leaning one way or the other.”

The SPJ code of ethics recommends that journalists avoid any conflicts of interest, real or perceived, at all times. It says objectivity may be impossible in today’s political environment, but it should still be a reporter’s goal.

“About 430 people who work in journalism have, through August, combined to give about $382,000 to the Democratic nominee, the Center for Public Integrity’s analysis indicates,” reports the CPI.

Trump got about $14,000 from about 50 journalists.

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