Channel 4 takes high road by not airing any stories about unproven Hancock-prostitute links

Marching to the tune of journalistic integrity, Channel 4 has yet to air a story about Michael Hancock’s alleged ties to prostitutes.

“I said from the very beginning that this is a story we are going to pursue aggressively behind the scenes and conservatively on air,” News Director Tim Wieland at Channel 4, Denver’s CBS affiliate, told me. “The bar for reporting for this story is evidence. What I didn’t want to do was report on the process of our investigating. Once we had something concrete to report, some evidence to report, that we would do so. Because of the nature of the claim, and how sensational it is, the bar should be high.”

“We did all the same investigating that everybody else did,” he added. “In all that investigating, and we continue to investigate, we haven’t come up with evidence to support the claim. And so we haven’t done a news story about it.”

Wieland said his station published one story online explaining why Channel 4 did not accept Hancock’s conditions for reviewing cell phone records, but this story was deemed appropriate only for the station’s website.

“I’ll tell you, it was an extremely difficult decision. When you see everybody else out there doing it, and you’re the only one not. Believe me I did a lot of soul searching.  But at the end of the day, when you’re in this seat, you have to do what you feel is right. I had laid down the standard for our team, and it wouldn’t have been right for me to go back on it.”

But, says Wieland, CBS4’s investigation into the matter continues.

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