ABC News suspended one of its correspondents after he reported on the air that it was believed that all four of Kobe Bryant’s daughters were on the helicopter that crashed in Calabasas, Calif., on Sunday. Bryant and one of his daughters, Gianna, 13, were on the helicopter and were among the nine people killed.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Matt Gutman, the chief national correspondent for ABC News, was suspended after he initially reported that Bryant’s three other daughters were also believed to have been on the helicopter. He later apologized for the mistake, both on the air and in a tweet, which you can see below.
The Times quotes a statement from an ABC News representative saying: “Reporting the facts accurately is the cornerstone of our journalism. As he acknowledged on Sunday, Matt Gutman’s initial reporting was not accurate and failed to meet our editorial standards.”
The length of Gutman’s suspension was not disclosed.
Gutman apologized separately in a statement provided to the Times, stating: “We are in the business of holding people accountable. And I hold myself accountable for a terrible mistake, which I deeply regret. I want to personally apologize to the Bryant family for this wrenching loss and any additional anguish my report caused.”
The Times adds: “Gutman, 42, has been an ABC News correspondent since 2008 and is based in Los Angeles. He has won journalism awards for his work on the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas and the 2018 rescue mission of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand. He frequently appears on ‘ABC World News Tonight With David Muir’ and ’20/20.’”
Today I inaccurately reported it was believed that four of Kobe Bryant’s children were on board that flight. That is incorrect. I apologize to Kobe’s family, friends and our viewers. pic.twitter.com/yYwuB9vpZl
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) January 27, 2020