Asian American Journalists demand apology from WCCO "dog meat" reporter [UPDATE]
WCCO's James Schugel is in the doghouse with the Asian American Journalists Association, which is demanding an apology for his idiotic report last week that local dogs were being sold for human consumption in New York City's Chinatown.
"The report, which perpetuates an Asian stereotype, resulted in a state probe of the meat market in which no evidence was found of dog meat," the letter from AAJA's Minnesota chapter reads. "We have faith that WCCO will do the responsible thing by being transparent with the investigation into the reporting, editing and publication -- both on air and online -- of this report."
As we reported last Friday, the I-Team ran the laughable report as if it was a major "gotcha," but it all turns out to be a huge misunderstanding based on mishearing an accent. Schugel heard "dog" when it was really "duck," and the store was actually selling perfectly legal and quite common bird meat--not Fido the Family Dog.
The mystery was solved when the New York City health department inspected the shop and found no signs of dogs being sold as food.
The piece was promptly scrubbed from the web, but traces remain. Here's a transcript of how the story was introduced when it originally aired:
The I-TEAM went undercover in New York City to see the Canine Culture Center, but found a meat market at the same address.
And as the I-TEAM found, a worker there says he only sells dogs to eat.
UPDATE: AAJA-MN Co-President Tom Horgen called us back and explained why they wrote their letter.
We've yet to see an explanation from WCCO regarding the report they made and pulled from the website so we just wanted to voice our concern to them and ask them what their next step was going to be. We were hoping that they would do their own fact-finding mission and either issue a correction, a retraction, or an apology
The report ended up having officials in New York go into a meat market and inspect the place. It turned up nothing.
I think with any bigger news organization, that's usually standard practice, if you write a story and it includes inaccurate information hopefully there's a correction and maybe a retraction and maybe an apology
In this case the issue is, I think, somewhat controversial. It kind of perpetuates an Asian stereotype, especially when it's not accurate. Maybe an apology would be in order: not just for inaccurate reporting but for possibly perpetuating a stereotype
Schugel did not immediately return a phone call requesting comment on the letter.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.