Behind The Camera: Maisenhelder

Let’s get something clear about the “unfair,” “biased,” and “slanted media” accusations that are being tossed at WECT’s coverage of the Maisenhelder story.

I think what happened to reporter Lynda Figueredo and Chief photographer Ryan Koresko in the court room yesterday provides a good example of how trying to show “both sides”…is extremely difficult.

First…our cameras were NOT allowed in the courtroom. I’m not the only person in this newsroom that thinks that that policy is RIDICULOUS.  Even Maisenhelder’s attorney, Woody White, asked the bailiff for camera access. The judge denied the request.

Lynda sat inside the courtroom while Ryan waited outside. Ryan says that there were about 100 supporters of Maisenhelder who came to the courthouse. Ryan overheard many complaints about “the media” not covering Maisenhelder’s “side.” So Ryan ASKED them for comment….TELL US why you think Maisenhelder is innocent of these charges….TELL US why you think these accusations are false…TELL US something!

Ryan asked a room full of supporters if ANYONE would say a word…the response? A few people said they wantedto give comment…but the attorney had asked them not to…for fear that it would interfere with the trial. (I’m not sure how a comment supporting their friend would damage a trial..but I am not an attorney…). Others said they were so upset that no one was speaking up for Maisenhelder but they would not be the ones to do so.

A few desks down…I can hear Lynda on the phone as I type…asking people to make an on-camera comment for Maisenhelder’s “side”…and no one is agreeing.

Last night, Claire Simms received a phone call from one of Maisenhelder’s family friends, Steve Hertz. Steve also said that he was upset that no one was speaking out for Maisenhelder…but he WOULD. So Claire and photographer Justin West drove out to Porter’s Neck to meet Mr. Hertz. Then Mr. Hertz got a phone call…and suddenly changed his mind…citing “the family’s wishes.” 

Maisenhelder’s family would not answer Claire’s questions at the Sheriff’s Office. 

 I read the comments on our website being left by both citizens and friends of Maisenhelder…many of which accuse us of “biased journalism.” Unfortunately, we can’t report on “the other side” if no one will give it. We have reported on, and posted every correspondence that Maisenhelder’s attorney has sent us…but as of right now…that’s all we have to work off of.

We have updated and reported on every judicial action taken in this case. We have reported what the attorney has said. We haven’t reported on what all of these supporters of Maisenhelder are saying…because they’re NOT talking.

There is an open door for comment….

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