Baltimore NBC affiliate WBAL did a report Friday night about the attorneys of the six cops charged in the death of Freddie Gray wanting the court to either dismiss the case or recuse Baltimore State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby over what they call ‘numerous’ conflict of interest charges.
Reporter George Lettis took viewers step by step through the five conflicts listed, but failed to mention the relationship between WBAL reporter Jayne Miller, who covered the story for the station in the heat of the riots, and deputy state’s attorney Janice Bledsoe.
As we reported earlier, Miller told a radio station last week, she would “step back” from reporting the Gray story and admitted to a “personal connection to one of the prosecutors.”
In his report, Lettis only told viewers “Conflict of interest number two: personal ties between one of the prosecutors and the media, specifically pertaining to interviews with Donta Allen, the other man in the police van with Freddie Gray.”
“WBAL’s report — by saying “personal ties between one of the prosecutors and the media” instead of Miller, the member of the media who is named — might suggest to some viewers that the attorneys are alleging widespread conflicts of interest throughout the media,” wrote The Baltimore Sun’s David Zurawik.
Lettis also didn’t tell viewers that the attorneys for the police officers said they might call Miller as a witness in this case – making her part of the story.
Because Miller interviewed Allen, the man in the van with Gray, the attorneys believe Miller is now a “substantive witness to an impeachment relative to the veracity and detail of Mr. Allen.”
According to Sun reporter Justin Fenton’s story on the motion, the attorneys say they have subpoenaed Miller’s notes.
Miller is becoming more and more a part of the story, because she and the station failed to act on her conflict of interest when they should have. Given her relationship, she should never have been covering the story. Or, if she did cover it, she should have disclosed that relationship each and every time she reported on it.
TVSpy asked WBAL to comment. We will update when we hear back.