I first told you about St. Louis reporter Larry Conners's claim that the IRS "hammered" him after his fair, but hard-hitting interview with President Obama last year. Tonight Conners read a statement on air distancing himself from his Facebook post.
"Those were my personal views, not those of KMOV TV, second to be fair, I should disclose that my issues with the IRS preceded that interview by several years. As a journalist I understand the importance of keeping my personal matters separate from my professional work, sometimes you have to do that to retain your independence as a news man. Those lines might have been unintentionally crossed yesterday by my post."
I can reveal that a well-placed source divulged, on the condition of anonymity, that Conners was
"... handed the statement that he is being forced to give at the end of the 5:00 and 6:00 news today on KMOV-TV 4."
Journalists are allowed opinions. It's amazing that the profession scorns opinions in private life but encourages the predominance of opinions in regular reporting so long as they skew to the left. Anyone with two brain cells to rub together knows that individual Facebook pages aren't the same as the 6 o'clock news and shame on any network that tries to conflate this in an effort to sweep controversy under the rug.
The questions that remain are: did the IRS attention to Conners increase after his interview with Obama? His post gives the impression that it did, but seeing as his hands were slapped backchannel by corporate at KMOV, we may never know. After confirming an interview on my show today, Conners after told my producer, Kevin Conrey, that "corporate" nixed the interview, effectively muzzling him. KMOV's action in shuttering this story does nothing but bring more attention to it and calls into question the skills of the people making such decisions. I'm certainly not finished with this story. Is KMOV covering for the administration? Do they think by forcing a respected and objective anchor to read a statement apologizing for a personal Facebook post wherein he divulged that yes, the IRS may have a vendetta will make the story disappear?
*UPDATE: The left is trying hard to discredit Conners (wasn't just him, Todd Starnes also said the IRS began harassing him, as well) by saying his troubles began before the interview. Conners never said to the contrary. His post suggested they intensified after the interview. Big difference, but the left will use anything to obfuscate this AP scandal. KMOV denied him the chance to expound on this by handing him, as per the source, a pre-written statement from the brass. Had Conners written it, I'd imagine we'd have gotten the full story.