ABC News has suspended Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman over a false statement he made during an on-air report Sunday in the immediate aftermath of the helicopter crash that killed NBA great Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and seven other people.
In his live report on Sunday, while details about the crash were still scarce and amid a lot of misinformation on social media, Gutman erroneously said that all four of Bryant’s daughters had been on board.
He subsequently acknowledged his mistake and apologized on-air, noting that the investigation into who had been in the helicopter was still ongoing:
Three days later, Gutman, an award-winning ABC News veteran, has earned a suspension, first reported by Los Angeles Times.
“Reporting the facts accurately is the cornerstone of our journalism,” an ABC News said in a statement through a spokesman. “As he acknowledged on Sunday, Matt Gutman’s initial reporting was not accurate and failed to meet our editorial standards.”
Gutman has been with ABC News since 2008, regularly appearing on World News Tonight, 20/20, Good Morning America and Nightline.
“We are in the business of holding people accountable. And I hold myself accountable for a terrible mistake, which I deeply regret,” he said in a statement following the news of his suspension. “I want to personally apologize to the Bryant family for this wrenching loss and any additional anguish my report caused.”
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