Sean Bergin, a freelance reporter for Cablevision’s News12 New Jersey, is out at the regional cable news network after telling viewers on-air what he thought was the root cause of what he called the “anti-cop mentality” among young black men in inner cities.
Bergin told TVSpy he was suspended with pay for two days because of his comments and that the station, “made me an offer I had to refuse.” Bergin said News12 said he could come back for $350 a week and a chance to do what he called his “goofy feature segment” but not report hard news. He added, “I told them I had no choice but to turn it down.”
The controversy started Sunday night when Bergin was wrapping up a story about the killing of a Jersey City police officer. As part of the story, Bergin had interviewed the wife of the man alleged to have shot and killed the officer.
Bergin told viewers the station was “besieged” with calls from police officers angry he had given time to “the life of a cop killer.” He then told viewers, News12 aired the interview because it wanted to “shine a light on the anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities.” He went on to say, “The underlying cause of all of this, of course: young black men growing up without fathers.”
A News12 spokesperson told TVSpy, “It is News 12′s policy that reporters must be objective and not state personal opinions on-air.”
Bergin has posted the various stories about his suspension to his facebook page which is filled with messages from supporters.
Here’s the full text of what he said on-air.
“We were besieged, flooded with calls from police officers furious that we would give media coverage to the life of a cop killer. It’s understandable. We decided to air it because it’s important to shine a light on the anti-cop mentality that has so contaminated America’s inner cities. This same, sick, perverse line of thinking is evident from Jersey City, to Newark and Patterson to Trenton.”
“It has made the police officer’s job impossible and it has got to stop. The underlying cause of all of this, of course: young black men growing up without fathers. Unfortunately, no one in the news media has the courage to touch that subject.”