WFMY Says Viewers Misunderstood Handcuff Shot Used During Presidential Race Report

By Kevin Eck 

Greensboro, N.C. CBS affiliate WFMY took some heat after it used handcuffs during a story about the presidential campaign last Tuesday.

While talking about a poll showing how close the presidential race is in the state, the station took a shot of handcuffs which were being held by Morgan Hightower.

“Neither Hightower nor WFMY’s news director immediately responded to requests for comment about the meaning behind the gesture,” wrote the Huffington Post. “It is hard, however, not to associate Hightower’s use of handcuffs with the claims of Donald Trump’s campaign and its backers that Hillary Clinton belongs in prison for her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state.”

“Last week, our newscast aired a brief story on the deadlock closeness of the Presidential polls in North Carolina using handcuffs as a prop,” said WFMY GM Larry Audas on the station website. “We commonly use props and visual comparisons in storytelling. In response to a Huffington Post article about our report, it appears social media has separated the words of our story from our pictures and the storytelling intent.”

Our story was not about – and made no reference to – any investigation, criminality or possible prosecution of either Presidential candidate. It was a story about the neck and neck closeness of the candidates in current polling – the prop meant to denote the discomfort of these bitter rivals locked side by side in the polls. We should have better explained, more so, used a better prop. We regret the confusion.

We asked WFMY about it. We’ll update when we hear back.