Kid gloves for Kelly? - Broadcasting & Cable

Kid gloves for Kelly?

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An internal memo at Fox-owned WFLD(TV) Chicago suggested that the station
traded softened treatment of Chicago-based music star and accused child-pornography possessor R. Kelly for greater access -- a contention the station
denied.

The memo, obtained and published by Chicago Sun-Times TV columnist
Robert Feder, instructed staffers to "take particular care" in reporting on
Kelly's arrest and told them not refer to the alleged victim by age, not to
show Kelly in his orange jumpsuit unless referring to his arrest last June and
to "be judicious in mentioning the trial in other stories about Kelly."

Kelly, who is to be tried in Chicago, was arrested in Florida Wednesday on
additional charges.

Feder has characterized the station's reporting on Kelly as suspect, and
he noted the station's access to the musician.

But WFLD news vice president Debra Juarez said she stands behind it.

Juarez says she had never seen nor approved of the memo, and she sent out a
follow-up memo to clarify that the station would not give Kelly favored
treatment.

The initial memo was unfortunate, she acknowledged, but "it does not
characterize the way we've reported this story."

According to Juarez, senior anchor Robin Robinson -- a friend of Kelly's who
also has business contacts with him -- had asked that caution be exercised
regarding Kelly.

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