Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The SDUT connection with KPBS: how embarrassing for KPBS

February 18, 2008
Aguirre takes issue with The U-T

What started with a question about a State Bar investigation turned into a heated encounter between City Attorney Michael Aguirre and San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Alex Roth today.

The exchange was videotaped for about 10 minutes by Channel 7/39 and posted on its Web site.

Aguirre called a noon news conference in Old Town to talk about his re-election bid. Roth was there to cover the news conference, but also asked Aguirre about the Bar investigation for a separate story he was writing.

"Why do you think the State Bar is investigating you?" Roth asked in front of other reporters.

Aguirre responded that the investigation was based on Roth's incomplete and faulty reporting, including a reliance on sources "that have grievances or axes to grind." "There's no substance to anything that you write," Aguirre said.
Roth said he wanted to limit his questioning to the investigation.
Aguirre said Roth asked about the investigation to embarrass him. Roth asked Aguirre to step aside to privately talk about the investigation. The two walked away and continued talking for about eight minutes while the 7/39 camera rolled.
Aguirre can be heard suggesting Roth see a counselor, and accusing the reporter of ethical lapses in previous stories. Aguirre said Roth's 2007 coverage of Aguirre's investigation into KPBS programming, for example, did not mention that Roth's wife worked for KPBS.

Roth's wife left her job as a KPBS education reporter in 2006. Roth and Union-Tribune editors said they stand by his coverage of the city attorney.

Posted by Alexa Capeloto February 18, 2008 07:34 PM

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