Wisconsin TV reporter dances for comedy vignette at scene of fire that killed three kids
Screengrabs from WITI's Dougie video, including an image of Duria dancing at the scene of the fire (far left)
Chuck Steinmetz, president of Milwaukee's WITI-TV Fox 6 TV channel, has apologized after one of his reporters filmed a comedy vignette last Friday at the scene of a fire in Milwaukee's West Allis neighborhood that killed three children.
Video of the vignette has been removed from the internet, but the image at the top of this post features a screengrab of reporter Angelica Duria doing the "Dougie" at the scene of the tragedy.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's media blog provides some background:
Duria filmed her part while at the fire scene, and the others were in the studio. Videos of each of them were edited together and posted on the station's website and Facebook page Friday morning not long after Duria reported on the fire for the "WakeUp News" broadcast...
Sources said reporters and photographers from other news organizations also at the scene witnessed the dance being filmed and wondered about its appropriateness.
Duria, generally a reliable and productive reporter, did a vigorous version of the dance alongside a WITI van parked about one-half block away from the home near S. 77th and W. Hicks streets, which had been roped off with crime-scene tape.
Bystanders heard no music being played; she was likely listening to the song through an earpiece. A WITI news photographer with Duria at the fire scene filmed the dance.
After criticism began to roll in and the video was removed, Steinmetz released this statement: "We have been working to make parts of FOX 6 Wake Up more fun and spontaneous - especially near the end of the show as we transition into 'Real Milwaukee.' We have tried to involve all of the crew and staff."
"While I personally received multiple positive comments from viewers about the segment - one person specifically thanking us for getting their day off to a fun start before going to work - we never intended to offend anyone. If we did, we certainly apologize," Steinmetz added.
Being offended is one thing. Being appalled by the fact an ostensibly serious TV news station would treat the deaths of three fire victims in such a flippant manner is another.
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