WCAX-TV is still in the doghouse, if not the outhouse, for its handling of the situation at Randolph High School. The station aired, and later took down, a story based on one single interview with a volleyball player who claimed to have been harassed by a transgender teammate. The reporter made no effort to fact-check or even talk to anyone else. WCAX aired the inflammatory accusation. Or, as the trans girl’s mother put it, they set a bomb and lit the fuse.
The station’s handling of the situation has been a disgrace. The original decision to run the story, the initial denials that the station was in any way at fault, the cowardly removal of the story from its website without saying a word about it, station manager Jay Barton’s belated blame-everbody-else statement, and the station’s refusal to take part in a “Vermont Edition” show about the story and the damage it has caused. (As of this writing, early afternoon on October 19, the show has not been archived online. It will be later this evening.)
Extra bonus: Barton’s non-apology aired during the news on October 13, and as far as I can tell, it is not accessible anywhere online. By its actions, it’s clear that WCAX is embarrassed. Otherwise, they wouldn’t conceal the story and Barton’s statement.Continue reading