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WJLA fires anchorman Doug McKelway

[This blog entry has been updated.]

WJLA-TV has fired veteran anchorman Doug McKelway for a verbal confrontation this summer with the station's news director that came after McKelway broadcast a sharply worded live report about Congressional Democrats and President Obama, reports The Post's Paul Farhi.

Here's Farhi's report:

McKelway was placed on indefinite suspension in late July after his run-in with ABC7's news director and general manager, Bill Lord. In a letter to McKelway this week, the station said it was terminating his contract immediately, citing insubordination and misconduct.

Amid the ongoing BP oil spill in July, McKelway covered a Capitol Hill demonstration by environmental groups protesting the influence of oil-industry contributions to members of Congress.

In his piece, McKelway said the sparsely attended event attracted protesters "largely representing far-left environmental groups." He went on to say the protest "may be a risky strategy because the one man who has more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else in history is now sitting in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama, who accepted $77,051 in campaign contributions from BP."

After a brief taped segment updating efforts to cap the BP well, McKelway added that the Senate was unlikely to pass "cap-and-trade" legislation this year, because "the Democrats are looking at the potential for huge losses in Congress come the mid-term elections. And the last thing they want to do is propose a huge escalation in your electric bill, your utility bill, before then."

Lord took exception to McKelway's reporting and asked to meet with him, according to several station sources who were granted anonymity to discuss the sensitive personnel matter. A shouting match between the two men ensued, leading to McKelway's suspension, sources said.

McKelway has alleged liberal favoritism in news reporting before; when he left his anchor chair at WRC, Channel 4, after nine years to join WJLA in mid-2001, he blasted the station's lack of "balance" in a newspaper article.

McKelway declined comment on his status at WJLA; Lord also declined to comment.

McKelway said that he is currently working on a book about his family's history in journalism in Washington. McKelway's grandfather, Benjamin, was the longtime editor of the Washington Star; his great uncle St. Clair was a writer and editor for the New Yorker for 30 years, and his late uncle John was a columnist with the Star and Washington Times.

WJLA is owned by Allbritton Communications of Arlington, which also owns TBD TV (formerly NewsChannel 8), and the Politico and news sites.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  September 16, 2010; 6:14 PM ET
Categories:  Local TV  
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I never liked McKelway. It's nice to hear he's gone.

Posted by: rpcv84 | September 16, 2010 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Seems to me that McKelway probably didn't want to cover the protest and let the truth slip into his report.

In our new reality based world, getting a story 100% correct is a fire-able offense.

Posted by: Buffalo66 | September 16, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

Leftists never could handle the truth..

Posted by: wewintheylose | September 16, 2010 7:41 PM | Report abuse

no no buffalo. making up stories to fit your own preconceived notions, and editorializing events instead of reporting on events. is what gets you fired.

that's what happens when you work for a real news organization.

i'll bet he ends up at that faux network
that "reports" what YOU want to hear.

Posted by: surlydoc | September 16, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure there's a place for him on Faux...oops that FOX news; he walks, talks and looks the part. It's just a matter of time.

Posted by: Pstacy | September 16, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

November,sweet November...

Posted by: julcubdish | September 17, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

He said that as objective NEWS, not opinion? Did he think he'd get away with that?

Good riddance! Send that bag of 'puglican human garbage to the Faux lies factory.

If the post and all the other REAL media are too afraid to talk about Faux, at least they won't let the infection of biased propaganda enter THEIR newsrooms.

--faye kane, homeless idiot savant
Read more of my smartmouth opinions at

Posted by: Knee_Cheese_Zarathustra | September 17, 2010 2:14 AM | Report abuse

Private enterprise at its best, this "reporter" getting fired is just the free market at work.

Posted by: kingcranky | September 17, 2010 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Be real. Left, right or center who among us could get into a shouting match with our boss and still have a job?

Posted by: onlytheshadowknows1 | September 17, 2010 3:55 AM | Report abuse

wapo is not known for its objective reporting against present regime. to get along u have to go along in da city

Posted by: pofinpa | September 17, 2010 5:51 AM | Report abuse

Good riddance. Never liked his hair and make-up, anyway.
Fox will pay big money for the right kind of opinions. So, he'll do okay.

Posted by: jmf3210 | September 17, 2010 5:58 AM | Report abuse

Good riddance. Never liked his hair and make-up, anyway.
Fox will pay big money for the right kind of opinions. So, he'll do okay.

Posted by: jmf3210 | September 17, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

far left environmental groups is redundant. Obama had $77K in donations from BP is a fact. The Dems did lay off cap-and-trade for the exact reasons he reported. None of this is Fox News propaganda. And he wouldn't have gotten into a shouting match if the Lib news director. had left him alone

Posted by: ronjaboy | September 17, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

A reporter on lamestream media who actually tells the truth? Oh, no, can't have that.

Posted by: thebump | September 17, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

"McKelway said that he is currently working on a book about his family's history . . ."



Posted by: trenda | September 17, 2010 8:18 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for telling the truth Doug. The leftist media in the Washington metro area can't handle the truth. You will do better in your future endeavors because eventually honesty will prevail. If WP had balls they would defend you in their editorials.

Posted by: bandsposs | September 17, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

No bump, a reporter on mainstream media who doesn't let solid news get in the way of allowing his opinion, and apparently yours, into the story. I don't watch news to hear the news that I want to hear, there are networks for that purpose and I stay away from them. And you better start to understand, FOX and MSNBC are now both part of the lamestream media too. They just offer opinion, half-truths and partisan propaganda to further their chosen narrative. In our "Too much bad information" age, the truth is up for grabs and we're much the worse for it. Let Mr. McElway go somewhere and be an opinionmaker, because he doesn't want to be a reporter.

Posted by: curtb | September 17, 2010 8:25 AM | Report abuse

I've had Doug McKelway pegged as a closeted homosexual for at least a decade. No wonder he is also right-wing. Vaya con dios, Doug, you might be forgiven in the end. But probably not.

Posted by: fred_p_harris | September 17, 2010 8:56 AM | Report abuse

Strangest kind of celebrity, the TV news anchor. In your home market, you make the cover of your city magazine and people think of you as part of the extended family, but drive just 40 miles from the tower, and it's "Can I see some ID, Mr. McKelway?"

Posted by: mattintx | September 17, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Let me know, any of you here, if you want a jump in your electricity bill as we head into winter. Yes, I thought so.........
Fired for telling the truth, especially when it questions the Democrats and King Obama. Not shocked at all.
This is what is wrong in the media today. The media believes they have the power to tell the sheeple what to think and who to vote for.
What is the word for government controlled media?????

Posted by: jiboo | September 17, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

Seems like Doug was practicing journalism in it's true form. Perhaps Bill Lord would be happier with a reporter who stands on location and looks pretty but really doesn't say anything substanitive. Our congress and democracy is being purchased by corporate America. It is up to journalists to bring this to the light of truth.

Posted by: mjoy | September 17, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

This is very good. McKelway made his loony and insulting right-wing sentiments far too obvious to continue as the anchorman on a local Washington D.C. television newscast.

WJLA did the right thing. Let the guy go to Fox where he might belong.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | September 17, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

WJLA is just another one of the mainstream media that can't handle the truth. I guess if you work for one of the MSM outlets and try to tell it like its is - you get fired. Are we living in China or Russia now?

Posted by: RFRBoy2 | September 17, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

I've noticed that in all nasty comments here posted by the lefties crowing at the reporter's firing, nobody has questioned the TRUTH of his reporting the UNDISPUTED FACT that Obama received more campaign contributions from BP than anybody else. I guess if you can't counter the truth, you just go ad hominem.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | September 17, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The truth or falsity of the reporter's comments are irrelevant. The question is do we really need to hear some arrogant puff bags opinion every time we get a live report? Who's mind does he think he is changing? People are smart enough to make up their own minds, the news should just give us facts.

Posted by: bob29 | September 17, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Just saw McKelway's report on youtube. It was well done and professional. I would not call it sharply worded. As the article states, the verbal confrontation is what got him fired.

Posted by: admin22 | September 17, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

The truth or falsity of the reporter's comments are irrelevant. The question is do we really need to hear some arrogant puff bags opinion every time we get a live report? Who's mind does he think he is changing? People are smart enough to make up their own minds, the news should just give us facts.

Posted by: bob29


Amen. If your a reporter your job is to report the facts and keep your opinion to yourself.

Posted by: bbface21 | September 17, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Injecting a political opinion (editorial) into a local news report is generally a bad idea. Not realizing his mistake and entering into a subsequent shouting match with the station manager is what led to the termination for "insubordination and misconduct".

These comment section too often degrade into people shouting past each other. Let's be clear on one thing here: Doug McKelway is not Ron Burgundy.
[Anchorman Trailer]

Posted by: alexandrian78 | September 17, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

I always liked Doug despite his political views. I think his "reporting" on the BP disaster stepped over the line, however.

Good news for him is that he can probably get a job at Fox News pretty easily. Good news for the rest of us is that we'll probably see a lot more of Pamela Brown on the early morning broadcast.

Posted by: topperale | September 17, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of politial affiliation, he clearly did not report unbiased news and chose labels insted of talking about the event. Report the facts. He shuold have been let go, especially after a fight with his boss.

Posted by: cadam72 | September 17, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

well he can go work at Fox, where bombastic fluff rules along with bigotry

Posted by: anti1 | September 17, 2010 1:09 PM | Report abuse

McKelway may be a right-leaning loonie or whatever. All I know is that he plays a mean banjo. Used to enjoy him at Madam's Organ during their bluegrass shows. Keep on picking McKelway you freak!!

Posted by: Jake_o | September 17, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

He always seemed like a typical empty newsbot with blow-dry hair to me. He can join John "the moustache" Stossell at Fox and they can whine about how we mistreat corporations and the wealthy in this country, while collecting fat salaries.

Posted by: thebuckguy | September 17, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

I agree with everything that Doug said--any political pundit will tell you the same thing about the Democrats, the elections, cap and trade, and the power of campaign contributions. The problem is that Doug wasn't on-air as a political commentator, he was a reporter reporting a story and not offering a commentary. The influence of campaign contributions and elections motivating the President and the Congress is opinion, not fact. And, as others have pointed out, getting into a shouting match with your boss is always a Career-Limiting Move.

Posted by: hisroc | September 17, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

McKelway - spoke the truth and lost his job. That's okay buddy, a BETTER job is waiting for you and the voters are waiting for 2012 to make ANOTHER big change.

Posted by: ReneesOpinion | September 17, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Stay classy, teabaggers.

Posted by: bs2004 | September 17, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

There have been many times I've disagreed with my boss. But I kept my mouth shut so that I could keep my job. I indulge in my political interests on my own time.

Posted by: ALLOST | September 17, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

How come on the broadcast news they go out of their way to say this or that person is a conservative but they never say the same thing about ilberals... never once saying "the liberal senator from new york" for example. Oh right... I forgot. Libtards.

Posted by: biffgrifftheoneandonly | September 17, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Good luck in your future endeavors Doug.

We will miss you!

Posted by: atkissonjim | September 17, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Quit using the foul mouth pejorative "TEA Baggers". We all know you liberals support the true TEA BAGGERS which are homosexual men. Stick to the facts you snot nose liberals. You will take a serious AS_ whooping in November. Doug did not sing from ACB’s sheet music, thus he was fired. Ok for George Sniffonopolus to pretend to be a serious journalist when we all know he is a card carrying Liberal. Bunch of punks. Simper FI.

Posted by: Cobra2 | September 17, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

It's more evidence that the so-called mainstreem press is the propaganda wing of the far left Marxists.

Posted by: Bearbank | September 17, 2010 5:44 PM | Report abuse

McKelway apparently thought he was working for Fox. And now the righties are frothing at the mouth. What he did was plain dumb and the biggest defense his supporters can come up with is name calling. What children. Go to your rooms and don't come out until up grow up - which means someone will have to slide food under the door for years to come.

Posted by: pjohn2 | September 17, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

These creeps aren't journalists or even reporters. Journalists should be unbiased in their reporting even when their own views or politics are different. We don't need these kinds of one-sided partisans pretending to be "newsmen". This is what is wrong in America right now. Fox is owned by two foreigners, an Aussie and a Muslim. Where are those rightwing voices who demonize our President because his sperm donor was born in Kenya, but accept the owners of Fox as good old boys. Both of them are making millions by undermining our government and our nation's President but that is okay with Fox and their followers. Personally, CNN does it best and has the best reporters and TV personalities. These slanderers who perform for the cameras with their own twisted views and biased opinions, should all be fired. Let them go to Hate Radio where they belong. fritz

Posted by: papafritz571 | September 17, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

As a lifelong viewer(over half a century) of dedicated loyalty to the ABC news team and a fondness for Bob Ryan's weather, I must express my profound disgust with the recent behavior in firing Mr. McKelway. What in the world has happened to this country when the news is no longer the news, but rather nothing more than a mouthpiece for the agenda of high-rolling political organizations, both left and right? I like hearing both sides; I enjoy being able to make up my own mind as to what I choose to advocate and support.. Shame on ABC and WJLA, not just for the firing, but also for posing as a news organization. Now, I am going to advocate that during each newscast, the following message stream across the bottom of each screen: "This is a paid political announcementfor the left/right." Not that my single vote counts, but ABC has lost my viewership for pretending to be something they are not... a reporter of the news.

Posted by: EndoDoc | September 18, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

@ fred : how could doug be a closeted homo when he is married with kids?

Posted by: lilkunta | September 20, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I've not been fond of Doug since his Mar 10,09 disparaging comments about Michael Jackson. He was guest hosting ' Let's Talk Live ' with Natasha Barrett. He called MJ a convicted child molester. Peter Yarrow of Peter Paul Mary is the convicted child molester. Michael Jackson IS NOT.

Posted by: lilkunta | September 20, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

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