D.C. ABC Reporter Doug McKelway Fired for Argument Over Anti-Obama, Anti-Greenpeace Bias

The Washington Post reported Friday that WJLA-TV, the local D.C. area affiliate of ABC, has fired longtime anchorman Doug McKelway for "insubordination and misconduct" after (or during?) an April report on left-wing oil spill protesters (video here):

In his piece, McKelway said the sparsely attended event attracted protesters "largely representing far-left environmental groups." [He cited Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.] He went on to say the protest "may be a risky strategy because the one man who has more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else in history is now sitting in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama, who accepted $77,051 in campaign contributions from BP."

After a brief taped segment updating efforts to cap the BP well, McKelway added that the Senate was unlikely to pass "cap-and-trade" legislation this year, because "the Democrats are looking at the potential for huge losses in Congress come the midterm elections. And the last thing they want to do is propose a huge escalation in your electric bill, your utility bill, before then."

[Station manager and news director Bill] Lord took exception to McKelway's reporting and asked to meet with him, according to several station sources who were granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive personnel matter. A shouting match between the two men ensued, leading to McKelway's suspension, sources said.

McKelway has alleged liberal favoritism in news reporting before; when he left his anchor chair at WRC after nine years to join WJLA in mid-2001, he blasted the station's lack of "balance," in a newspaper article.

WJLA is owned by Allbritton Communications, which is also the owner of the liberal Politico website (and newspaper). Aside from whatever words McKelway and Lord had, it's quite clear that McKelway was summoned for a scolding over conservative bias. Allbritton apparently expects all of its reporters to toe an Obama-friendly, Greenpeace-friendly line.

Earlier: Liberal bosses may have also hated McKelway's forceful disapproval of a gay-left "outing" advocate

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis