TV anchor fired after racial comments in Facebook post

Wendy Bell in a photo from WTAE-TV

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh television station WTAE says it has ended its relationship with anchorwoman Wendy Bell over racial comments she posted on Facebook about a mass shooting.

Parent company Hearst Television said Wednesday her comments were “inconsistent with the company’s ethics and journalistic standards.” The station’s general manager also said that Bell used “egregious lack of judgment.”

Bell, who is white, speculated about the identities of the two men who fatally shot five black people — and an unborn baby — in a poor Pittsburgh suburb March 9.

She said they likely were “young black men” with “multiple siblings from multiple fathers,” despite having no description of the gunmen from police.

After a social media backlash, Bell apologized, saying her words “could be viewed as racist.” The station also apologized.

Bell says she didn’t get a “fair shake.”

She says the real story is the toll violence is taking within black communities.

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