Emily Miller is leaving her job as chief investigative reporter at Fox5 (WTTG), according to statements issued by the station. In her canned farewell, Miller says, “It was truly a rewarding experience to work at Fox 5 because local TV news is unique and because it let me directly help people who felt they have no one to fight for them. It showed me clearly why the fourth estate is so important in our country.”
Fox5 Vice President and General Manager Patrick Paolini: “Unfortunately, Emily has decided to move on at the end of her 2-year contract, Emily brought original reporting, got real results from her investigations and demonstrated exemplary coverage of the Baltimore Riots. We wish her the best in the future.”
Short statements full of omissions. Where, for instance, is Miller’s appreciation for all her wonderful colleagues? And her nod to station management for standing by her? And why does Paolini limit his praise to Miller’s coverage of the Baltimore riots? Doesn’t he know that Miller covered crime and justice in and around D.C., schools, and all kinds of other topics?
The truth, as these curt statements suggest, is that Miller’s time at Fox5 tested station management on a number of levels. In a previous position at the Washington Times, Miller wrote a column titled “Emily Gets Her Gun” — which developed into a book under the title “Emily Gets Her Gun: . . . But Obama Wants to Take Yours.” Even as she did her job as a news reporter for Fox5, Miller advocated for gun rights, even going so far as to speak at a rally for such interests. A rep for Fox Television Stations told this blog of the setup: “Each speaking engagement is approved on a case-by-case basis.”
Miller also forced the station into an embarrassing situation last year, when she reported on Fairfax County’s arrest of a man who had previously pleaded guilty to spraying semen on women. Turns out that Miller’s report had confused the arrestee with a another man who worked at the same exercise studio. “WTTG inadvertently used an incorrect photo and it was corrected as soon as we were made aware,” noted a rep in a statement on the screw-up.
Just last month, Miller began working on the story of a 15-year-old student at a Southeast charter school who’d complained when he encountered signs indicating “white” and “colored” above drinking fountains at the school. For reasons that remain unclear, Miller’s piece never ran, and she has produced little if anything for Fox5 since then.
In any case, Paolini’s assertion that Miller’s decision is unfortunate might just suggest that the station tried to renew her contract. We asked the rep about that possibility and haven’t heard anything in return.