WETA defends itself in shelter flap

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According to a story in the Northern Virginia Journal, noncommercial
WETA-TV Washington, D.C., doesn’t want a day-laborer shelter in its
backyard.

According to a WETA-TV spokeswoman, the station supports the shelter but
prefers two other sites -- all three are on the same block -- that were closer
to an employment and education center.

The Journal story quoted station CEO Sharon Rockefeller as telling the
Arlington County, Va., board that the location closest to the WETA complex in
Arlington, Va., would be 'a pretty hostile environment.'

WETA director of corporate communications Cecily Van Praagh said Rockefeller
was referring to potential traffic hazards with pickups and dropoffs of
laborers, which the board also cited, and not fears that staffers would be
accosted by laborers, as the paper concluded.

The board went with the site WETA opposed and the station accepted that
decision, Van Praagh said.

The Journal story prompted a media bias alert from the conservative
Media Research Center, which hastened to point to stories on public broadcasting
about the need to help day laborers.

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