I think we can all agree that the reporting surrounding Kobe Bryant’s death was piss poor. There were several inaccuracies in reports that ultimately went viral as the nation searched for answers and clarity in this inexplicable tragedy.
One of those inaccuracies came from an ABC News journalist Matt Gutman, chief national correspondent, who reported that all four of Bryant’s children were on the plane with him and also died in the helicopter crash in Calabasas, California this past Sunday.
In reality, it was Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other people, including the pilot, who died in the crash. Bryant’s other children were not present.
As a result of his report, ABC News has suspended Gutman for an undisclosed amount of time.
In a statement to CNN Business, a spokesperson for ABC News said, “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.”
Guzman apologized again, in another statement to CNN Business.
“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.”
According to CNN, Gutman began working for ABC News in 2008 and worked on programs like “World News Tonight,” “20/20,” “Good Morning America,” and “Nightline.”
His reporting on issues including the BP oil spill, Trayvon Martin’s shooting, the Las Vegas mass shooting in 2017, and the cave escape in Thailand, won awards.
In 2017, another ABC News reporter, Brian Ross, was suspended for four weeks without pay for a false report about National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. He left the network seven months after the infraction.