Wendy Bell is out of a job after making the sort of negative headlines on which she typically reports.
The Emmy Award-winning anchor – who had been with the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based station WTAE-TV for 18 years – was fired on Wednesday after she went off on a racist rant via her Facebook page.
“WTAE has ended its relationship with anchor Wendy Bell,” said Hearst Television, the station’s parent company, in a statement to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
“Wendy’s recent comments on a WTAE Facebook page were inconsistent with the company’s ethics and journalistic standards.”
So… what, exactly, did Bell write on Facebook?
What prompted her ousting?
On March 18, nine days after a mass shooting Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, Bell left the following message:
“You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts two weeks ago Wednesday … they are young black men, likely in their teens or early 20s …
“They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs. These boys have been in the system before.
“They’ve grown up there. They know the police. They’ve been arrested.”
Bell even acknowledged that this post could be deemed “racist” and said she regretted “offending anyone” prior to deleting it from her account.
But the damage had already been done.
In a phone interview with the Associated Press the day after she was terminated, Bell said that she didn’t get a “fair shake” from WTAE.
She went on to say she’s “sick” from the entire affair, adding by way of explanation:
“What matters is what’s going on in America, and it is the death of black people in this country … I live next to three war-torn communities in the city of Pittsburgh, that I love dearly. My stories, they struck a nerve. They touched people, but it’s not enough.
“More needs to be done. The problem needs to be addressed.”