Well, this one takes the cake and steals the plate it was sitting on, too. It's one of those.
Indeed. If you were going to have a moment of gross incompetence as a reporter, what might one of the worse things be? Well, Okay, perhaps reporting
on a traffic accident with Nuns or school kids would be a worse moment and topic, but only in context.
"Plaintiff thought he heard that one of the defendants had entered a guilty plea," Cerullo says in the lawsuit. "He asked another
reporter in the courtroom if the defendant had pled guilty, and the other reporter confirmed the plea. The proceedings then moved to the remaining two
defendants without any recess."
Cerullo tweeted about the guilty plea on his KAKE-TV Twitter account and did a live report on television.
Now I have to admit, I first read this and nothing really jumped out at me. I went on to other stories and other sites, in fact. Something bugged me
about it though and then it struck me. I've spent more than a couple days in court rooms over the years for one matter or another and never, once,
have I heard a criminal court case take a guilty plea where it either wasn't fully anticipated in advance or really get the attention of people in
It's kinda like a banker saying he's a scumbag. While it's probably true far more often than not? The odds of actually hearing it are pretty slim,
IMO. Missing it as a casual and routine thing to ask someone else if they heard? (especially with 2 more 'not guilty' defendants apparently with
this 'suddenly guilty' one on a murder
plea?) well, how indeed?
Within minutes, Cerullo says, the District Attorney's Office called the station and told the newsroom that his report was incorrect.
Cerullo says he immediately issued a correction on the Twitter feed and prepared a script for a live news report to correct the error.
Errr... Yup. That strikes me as gross negligence, if ever a reporter could be guilty of such a thing. Just my personal take on it and how I'd expect
to be treated if I had an Oops moment of quite THAT magnitude.
It's kinda like misspelling something in Christmas lights, then suing the light maker for not including a little dictionary with the strings.
But Cerullo claims: "The employment agreement does not contain a provision permitting termination for 'gross negligence.'
I couldn't help but notice, even in the bit after this where his complaint includes mention of the fact the boss was relaying information to viewers
who called/wrote in? He didn't actually deny it. It's about the technical right to be fired for screwing up, not the issue or magnitude.
I know it's a tough job market out there for some, but he was looking for a job when he found that one, to be really pragmatic about it. I wonder to
myself, if he was even in the room for the first not guilty plea or maybe engrossed in something on his phone (so, oblivious to everything) precisely
like you're not supposed to do while court is in session.
It is becoming a society where almost anything will bring lawsuits and even being wrong doesn't mean you can't sue for being busted on it. Heck,
that's the whole case here, right?