"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Scott Dempsey.
(KKK Member) "When a couple of them die, it doesn't bother us."
That is a member of the local Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan expressing his thoughts on the death of a young woman who was killed during protests in Charlottesville, Virginia. He said that on the record, directly to WBTV News reporter Steve Crump, who conducted the interview after getting a voicemail from the KKK with similar comments the night after Heather Heyer died.
Steve Crump's story and the WBTV News coverage surrounding that interview quickly received some criticism for the highly emotional content. Many were concerned that WBTV was creating more problems by giving a voice to people who should, in their opinion, be ignored.
WBTV journalists are committed to bringing you the truth and that truth is sometimes uncomfortable. The decision to include hate speech in a newscast is a very difficult one that our news leadership team considers very carefully. Steve Crump is an award-winning veteran reporter who has worked hard for more than three decades to earn your trust. In this case, the local connection to such a tragic national story demanded that he provide as much context as possible and he did so with the utmost professionalism.
It is as important now as it has ever been to get you information directly from its source and a powerful way to explain the mentality of the Ku Klux Klan by airing this interview with local klan members. WBTV does not in any way promote hateful rhetoric of any group who would show no remorse for the death of someone for expressing their First Amendment rights.
WBTV values your trust, which is why we were so committed to accurately and objectively reporting this story.