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TV reporter’s advice to GOP candidate West draws heat

by George Bennett | May 14th, 2010

A WPTV Channel 5 reporter’s advice to Republican congressional candidate Allen West on his TV appearances has been deemed “inconsistent” with station policy and drawn fire from the campaign of U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton.

Klein supporters were alarmed recently when they saw a YouTube video of an event in which West introduced WPTV reporter Angela Sachitano and said she “does our media relations.”

Sachitano has no formal role with the West campaign, but she and her husband are friends with the candidate, West campaign manager Josh Grodin said. West said in an e-mail that Sachitano “provides me insights into how to improve my media appearance/presence and conduct of interviews.”

Sachitano has covered a handful of stories involving Klein and West, including a recent report on the political ramifications of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

When West opened his campaign headquarters in Deerfield Beach last month, a video posted on YouTube showed him introducing a variety of campaign staffers and volunteers, including Sachitano.

“Angela Sachitano, who does our media relations, has done such a great job in helping me to develop that presence, so that when I go on MSNBC, you notice I didn’t smile with those folks, because you have to know how to project the right type of presence, so Angela thank you,” West says in the clip.

West, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel, said later that Sachitano’s husband, a former Army captian, was an early volunteer on West’s losing 2008 campaign against Klein.

Angela Sachitano wouldn’t comment and referred questions to WPTV News Director Jeff Brogan.

Said Brogan: “Through her husband Angela has a personal friendship with Allen West. While we have no reason to believe that relationship has negatively impacted her work as a journalist we did find her involvement with this campaign inconsistent with our policy. We’ve taken the appropriate action to address the situation.”

Brogan’s statement didn’t elaborate on the “appropriate action.”

Klein campaign spokeswoman Sarah Rothschild blasted West.

“To have a high profile member of the media personally advising Allen West, while that individual is also simultaneously reporting on the campaign, is beyond what is acceptable. Of course, unethical behavior from Allen West and his campaign is becoming the norm. South Florida residents deserve fair and unbiased coverage of the news and West is trying to undermine that.”


23 Responses to “TV reporter’s advice to GOP candidate West draws heat”

  1. Here we go again Says:

    The politicians are playing dirty, and West, who likes to say he is not one of them, is leading the pack.

  2. DaveH Says:


  3. Here we go again Says:

    Obama is a politician too..

  4. Holly Says:

    Oh well Klein that is what happens when you follow Wexler…you are going to go down with him. Blame it on him. Don’t worry Deutch will be with you soon in about ten years.

    Go West
    Go Rubio

  5. NOWEST Says:

    Allen West was Dismissed from the military for kidnapping and torturing an innocent civilian Iraqi policeman. Allen West broke the military uniform code of justice with no remorse, and he continues to show this side of his character in his politics.

  6. Jon Says:

    Klein is a chronic complainer and a whiner.

    I hope he loses, he will not get my vote.

    Klein=TAX and SPEND
    He supported Obama all the way, and did not think about the amount of taxation that is coming our way.

    We don’t need another democrat voting YES for everything Obama wants.

    OUT with Klein.

  7. Ed Fulop Says:

    Why is Klein’s camp whining THIS time? Because a reporter gave his opponent some tips on interviews with hostile media outlets? Here’s a tip for you guys — maybe Representative Klein should ask Miss Sachitano for some tips himself. Maybe it would give him the guts to get in front of his own constituency during a town hall, instead of hiding behind a telephone conference call. Man up, Ron.

  8. SethPlatt Says:

    Does anyone really think Allen West will represent ALL of his constituency? Preposterous! This devise ugly man will only represent his special interests and ignore issues that matter to the majority of the electorate. He has demonstrated disdain and contempt for differing viewpoints unlike Klein.
    The attacks on Klein that he does not listen to constituents because he didn’t want to be berated by an angry mob upset over loosing an election are CRAP.
    Although I would have shown up and told you all to go to hell.

  9. Ed Fulop Says:

    Ah — enter the troll.

    Wouldn’t be the same without you Seth.

  10. PissedVet Says:

    The New Jack Bauer Republicans

  11. SethPlatt Says:

    The right’s biggest criticism of Klein is faulty logic since West will surely snub anyone but his zombie drones which follow his false idol worship.
    Should be no surprise that Allen West is supported by some right wingers in the media. It is the right wing media that fuels his candidacy. They love his incendiary rhetoric which brings web hits and ratings at the behest of intellectual and contemplative political discourse.
    Political support of confessed war criminals is despicable and endangers our combat troops on the ground.
    I see West is at the Coral Ridge Yacht Club today la-ti-dahing it up with the REAL ELITES.
    Wasn’t so long ago that was an ‘exclusive’ club, for whites only, I’m sure its as diverse as the Republican party now though.
    This guy never stops feeding the fire, easy pickings.

  12. Is today May 25? Says:

    West is speaking there on May 25. Is today May 25 or am I missing something?

  13. Paul Says:

    He has demonstrated disdain and contempt for differing viewpoints unlike Klein.
    … who has shown disdain for only his constituents. But to be fair, Mr. Klein shows equal disdain for ALL his constituents.

  14. Hey No West Says:

    Allen West filed a police report against you. You better watch out, or he might “beat you like you stole something” from him and “make you scared to come out of your house.”

  15. Bill Church Says:

    The issue is not whether you are for or against Klein or West. The issue is the terrible violation of journalistic ethics by Ms. Sachitano. As a former TV news director, I can tell you that I would have fired her as soon as I learned of this event.

  16. John Williams Says:

    Bill is right on. It is a terrible violation of journalism ethics. Involving yourself in a story, or giving your audience reason to question your independence, is probably the worst violation of such ethics, except for flat-out plagiarizing something. I went to journalism school, and did my school paper in high school, and it’s one of the first things you learn.

  17. John Williams Says:

    That being said, for West to put someone in a position where they would be forced to choose between their career ethics and supporting him, is a terrible sign of his character. Why go on TV with her if you know she is also advising you unless you are purposely trying to exploit the relationship.

  18. T Says:

    Sachitano should have been fired. Doesn’t she know the basics of journalistic ethics? Somebody should check her FB — she’s a fan of Tea Party pages. Her stories are biased towards Republicans. She did a story the day the health care reform bill passed where she interviewed a “poor” wealthy restaurant franchise owner who will be impacted financially by the bill. So one-sided and pathetic it made my blood boil. According to her he was an example of how a small business owner would lose money from the reform. ha! He owns a bunch of Applebees restaurants! He’s no small business owner. Journalists are supposed to appear impartial and she’s had ZERO credibility with me cos her political leanings have always been very clear. I don’t care who a reporter or anchor supports in private… they can think Sarah Palin is the Second Coming or think Barack Obama is God but please do it in private or I’ll think all your stories have an agenda.
    Fire her.

  19. Ed Fulop Says:

    Bill and John –

    Talk to me about the “journalistic integrity” of guys like Chris Matthews, or Keith Olbermann, or locally, a guy like Frank Cerabino or Buddy Nevins used to be down south. C’mon fellas — it’s seems you have no issue with someone’s bias as long as they share yours.

    Restore Honor. Flip the House.

  20. John Williams Says:


    There is a HUGE difference,and your above comparison is like comparing apples to oranges. Matthews or Olbermann or Hannity or Beck (and other similar tv show and radio show hosts, liberal or conservative) get paid to express their opinions. Thus their biases are out in the open since it is a part of their job. They are supposed to have an opinion and there is no problem with that from an integrity standpoint. No one EXPECTS them to OBJECTIVELY report the news.It is not their job. Their job is to give their own take on the news.

    In this case, the reporter in question has a job where she is expected to report the news as objectively as possible. Working for/giving advice to someone you interview for that job is a clear conflict of interest and destroys her ability to remain objective in the eyes of her audience. That is why it is an ethics problem, because she is destroying any trust her audience had in her.

    So no, it is not a matter of having an issue only if someone’s bias is not my own. You won’t see me complaining about Sean Hannity or Joyce Kaufman or whoever. Their job is to give their opinion and I expect nothing less.

  21. phil Says:

    Angela Sachitano should be let go from WPTV. She crossed a line in journalism and to let herself be recored and have that video placed on youtube shows her lack of judjment.

  22. Einstein Says:

    We love you Angie!! Don’t go changing!! America is built on the backs of people taking a stand for what they feel is right. Political correctness be damned -
    you speak your mind, and support the people you want to support! Knock ‘em out!

  23. Frank Says:

    Einstein… she is absolutely entitled to have her opinion and stand up for her candidate. That is her right as as American. But as a JOURNALIST, she has committed a cardinal sin. Viewers expect her, as a JOURNALIST, to report in an unbiased manner. She is supposed to tell BOTH sides of every story.
    You can’t have it both ways.

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