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#pounditFriday, May 7, 2021

Reporter Aaron Wilson issues statement after being fired over Deshaun Watson interview

Aaron Wilson

Aaron Wilson issued a statement on Twitter Saturday after news emerged that he had been fired over statements he made during a radio interview.

Wilson, who covered the Texans for the Houston Chronicle, lost his job on Friday. He said in his statement that he “made a mistake” and did not choose his words carefully enough when talking about the Deshaun Watson allegations. He also regretted not being clearer about whether he was sharing his personal opinion in the interview, or representing the feelings of Watson’s camp.

Wilson joined WEEI’s “The Greg Hill Show” for an interview last month. In the interview, Wilson was asked about the sexual assault accusations Watson faced.

Wilson defended Watson’s character during the interview and expressed skepticism over the allegations. Wilson’s stance was so clear that the hosts even asked whether Wilson was “pro-Watson.”

In addition to showing a bias towards Watson, Wilson was not 100 percent clear about whether his remarks represented his own opinion, or whether his remarks represented the mentality of Watson’s camp. He said at one point that the attorney representing the women was “ambulance chasing.” He also said that “you don’t negotiate with terrorists” was the mindset of why Watson’s camp wasn’t negotiating with attorney Tony Buzbee.

Houston Chronicle reporters are supposed to receive clearance before doing interviews such as this one, and it sounds like Wilson did not. Had he sought clearance first, he might have been reminded to be careful with what he said. Wilson was not at all careful with his words or opinions.

Journalists are supposed to be impartial in their coverage of news stories. Maintaining impartiality is especially important for a sensitive subject such as this one. Wilson failed to be impartial during his interview.

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