After criticism from local media, KSTP has said one of its reports on the assault on the U.S. Capitol Wednesday "was not in keeping" with its editorial standards and says it will "do better going forward."
The story by 5 Eyewitness News reporter Jay Kolls featured comments from a local security expert, Michael Rozin, who made claims about the involvement of anti-fascists in the pro-Trump riots at the Capitol, despite there being no evidence thus far that this was the case.
Rozin, who is based in the Twin Cities, was the lone source for Kolls' story and was not at the Capitol on Wednesday. In a statement sent to BMTN, KSTP News Director Kirk Varner said that regarding the anti-fascists comment, the station "should not have reported that assertion without more context analyzing the claim."
Rozin Security itself said on Thursday that it was working with KSTP to correct the story, saying "we are not sure if Antifa was involved."
5 Eyewitness News will broadcast the following statement during its 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Newscasts:
“On Wednesday night, we broadcast a report focusing on the initial questions of security measures at the US Capitol. At the end of that story from reporter Jay Koll, he quoted Michael Rozin, a recognized security expert, who stated that it was “highly likely” that people who aligned with the Antifa group may have been part of instigating the violence at the Capitol. After further review, Mr. Rozin acknowledges his claim was speculative.
For our part, we should not have reported that assertion without more context analyzing the claim.
This was not in keeping with the editorial standards of 5 Eyewitness News, and we will do better going forward.”
Kolls received criticism from other members of the Twin Cities media for basing the premise of the story on a single source who wasn't in D.C., without taking into account the wealth of footage from the scene available, and despite the fact that authorities haven't confirmed any kind of anti-fascist involvement.
Kolls has previously found himself under scrutiny for his involvement in the "pointergate" controversy, when he reported a claim that former Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges had flashed a "gang sign" in a picture.