WNBC Falsely Reports Chopper Evacuated From Air Space Over Occupy Protests

By Merrill Knox 

A misunderstanding between a WNBC news chopper pilot and the air traffic control tower in New York City yesterday evening fueled mounting frustration that the media is being denied full access to cover the Occupy Wall Street protests.

The chopper pilot reported during the early evening newscast he was being evacuated from the area over Canal Street, where protesters were on the move toward the Brooklyn Bridge. NBC owned-and-operated WNBC reported that information on Twitter, where it was retweeted by more than 100 people.

The station later issued a correction, saying the NYPD had not issued an evacuation order and the chopper, which had briefly moved to nearby Foley Square, had returned to its original location. A WNBC spokesperson told TVSpy the erroneous report was the result of a misunderstanding between the chopper pilot and the control tower.

Earlier this week, the WCBS news chopper was evacuated from the air space over Zuccotti Park during an early-Tuesday morning NYPD raid. A WCBS spokesperson told TVSpy aerial coverage last evening was not affected.