CBS Anchorage affiliate assignment editor Nick McDermott and other reporters were caught on an accidental voice mail tape planning to fabricate at least two news stories in a last ditch effort to defeat the Republican nominee running for the US Senate in Alaska, Joe Miller.
The voice mail tape was left on the cell phone of Joe Miller’s spokesperson, Randy DeSoto. It is clear from the discussion that assignment editor McDermott, the news director for CBS KTVA, and other reporters, openly discuss fabricating news about Miller.
The voice mail message was later authenticated by Mr. McDermott, who sent a text to DeSoto stating “Damn iPhone . . . I left you a long message. I thought I hung up. Sorry.”
In a statement released by the Miller campaign DeSoto said, “Frankly, when I first heard this I was shocked. Though a bit garbled at times, there are disturbing comments in this conservation that never should have occurred.”
In the first discussion, the KTVA reporters discuss getting a list of Miller campaign supporters in order to ‘find’ a “child molester.” “You have to find that one person,” says the male reporter, to laughter in the news room. The reporters at KTVA then discuss creating a “Rand Paul” incident at the then upcoming Miller Rally (held on October 28, 2010) and hoping for violence so that they can “send out a tweet” and “Facebook” that “Miller got punched” at the rally.
Full Transcript Here:
FEMALE REPORTER: That’s up to you because you’re the expert, but that’s what I would do…I’d wait until you see who showed up because that indicates we already know something…
FEMALE REPORTER: Child molesters…
MALE REPORTER: Oh yeah… can you repeat Joe Miller’s…uh… list of people, campaign workers, which one’s the molester?
FEMALE VOICE: We know that out of all the people that will show up tonight, at least one of them will be a registered sex offender.
MALE REPORTER: You have to find that one person…
FEMALE REPORTER: And the one thing we can do is ….we won’t know….we won’t know but if there is any sort of chaos whatsoever we can put out a twitter/facebook alert: saying what the… ‘Hey Joe Miller punched at rally.’
FEMALE REPORTER: Kinda like Rand Paul…I like that.
FEMALE REPORTER: That’s a good one.