Former WTAE Pittsburgh anchor Wendy Bell’s federal court claim that she wouldn’t have been fired for posting opinions about the background and race of the Wilkinsburg massacre suspects if she were black should be thrown out because it’s speculation, the TV station’s parent company says.
According to some legal experts, this week’s firing of WTAE Pittsburgh anchor Wendy Bell over her Facebook posting does not violate her right to freedom of speech. According to attorney Sam Cordes, the First Amendment forbids the government to infringe on individuals’ free speech rights, with limited exceptions. “But it says nothing about a private employer.”
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WTAE Pittsburgh anchor Wendy Bell has been fired after a recent public apology from the station regarding a post on her Facebook page. A statement made Wednesday by Hearst Television, the station’s parent, reads: “WTAE has ended its relationship with anchor Wendy Bell. Wendy’s recent comments on a WTAE Facebook page were inconsistent with the company’s ethics and journalistic standards.”
Following last week’s Facebook by WTAE anchor Wendy Bell that many found racist, she and the station apologized. She hasn’t been see on-air since and today WTAE News Director Justin Antoniotti announced to the staff that Bell was no longer with the station.
Wendy Bell, an anchor and reporter at the Hearst-owned ABC affiliate, says she “regrets” a Facebook post on shooting suspects that sparked an online firestorm after being read as racist.