Eight days ago, FTVLive told you that KFSM Managing Editor Larry Henry admitted in court that he violated a judge's order by tweeting the verdict of a recent murder trial from the courtroom.
Circuit Judge Brad Karren found Henry in contempt of court for tweeting "BREAKING Zachary Holly guilty of capital murder in 6-year-old Jersey Bridgeman's death" moments after the verdict was read.
As we reported, the bailiff said he and the judge discussed possible sentences for a guilty plea and Karren came up with the idea of a news story in lieu of a fine or jail time.
"He thought a story could promote awareness of child safety and it was a good way to handle it," Monjure said. Henry has 30 days to air the story.
FTVLive wrote at the time, "Personally, I would not let the judge dictate what news stories my station does or does not air. I say let Henry face the penalty on his own terms and not get the station involved. I do not feel the station should cave to the judge's order. It's a slippery slope that the station should not head down."
A local Arkansas paper got around to the story this week (a little late) and in an editorial basically said the exact same thing that FTVLive said more than a week ago.
KFSM News Director Bill Cummings told TVSpy that, “KSFM did not, nor would we ever, relinquish control over our content or editorial process,” said Cummings. “In this case we did acknowledge that Mr. Henry unintentionally violated Judge Karren’s rules regarding tweeting in his courtroom. In additional to apologizing to the court, we deemed it appropriate to take a positive step and offer to do a story on children’s advocacy — a topic we have covered many times on 5NEWS.”
First of all, that means Cummings is calling the court bailiff a liar. Second of all we call bullshit on his statement.
You're telling me, you're Reporter is being held in contempt of court and you just offer up to do a story on children’s advocacy?
It is bad enough that a judge is assigning stories for a news station, but it might be even worse if the news station is handing out sentences in court.
This does not pass the smell test what-so-ever.
By the way, we would also love to see MANY children’s advocacy stories the station did in the past.