Fake news? WKYT confirms they won’t correct false story on FLOCK audit, reconsiders

UPDATE: WKYT Executive producer Kelsey Mattingly checked in with the Times via email. She says we need to hold our horses.

We have filed our own open records request to investigate this matter further but will not be making any amendments to our story until we have that information firsthand.

Kelsey Mattingly
WKYT Executive Producer

The Times will, of course, be requesting a copy of the LPD open records log to fact check her claim.

Original story:

Lexington CBS affiliate WKYT is in hot water after publishing a recent story on the new Lexington FLOCK license plate cameras.

Many advocates are concerned about the cameras. There are privacy concerns and concerns that the placement of the cameras unfairly targets minority communities. WKYT wasn’t worried about that, though, they asked a Lexington Police commander about it and he said everything was fine: they had conducted an audit, and no inaccuracies were found.

An open records request determined that to be a lie.

No photo description available.

The Lexington Times attempted to alert WKYT about the error multiple times, via multiple methods of communication. No correction was issued. Reached by phone, a man at the news desk confirmed they would not be making the correction and abruptly hung up on a Times editor.

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Not only did WKYT blindly publish the police narrative without fact checking it first, but they failed to gather any alternative perspectives. A local activist confirmed that they had no knowledge of WKYT reaching out to Lexington Police Accountability or any other organization for comment on the story.

WKYT’s refusal to correct the piece may have been a big uh-oh, however. While WKYT is not local–it is owned by Gray Television out of Atlanta–they do presumably have to abide by certain standards to maintain their status as a CBS affiliate. If this fake story indeed violated policies set forth by CBS for their local affiliates, it is possible WKYT, who went bankrupt in 1993 after a protracted fraud investigation, could soon be in the poor house again thanks to this concerning pattern of deceptive behavior.

Our take

While it’s unlikely Gray Television would miss WKYT’s meager $9.2M in annual revenue, assuming the station is even profitable, the station’s 125 employees would be out of jobs were the station to go belly up. This is not okay. WKYT employees should take direct action to get the correction made.

[Full Disclosure: The Lexington Times Web Editor is privately employed by Paramount Global, CBS’s parent company.]