Matt Gutman was suspended from ABC News on Wednesday (Jan. 29) following the reporter’s inaccurate reporting of the Kobe Bryant tragedy.
“Reporting the facts accurately is the cornerstone of our journalism,” an ABC News spokesperson said in a statement to E! News that confirmed the suspension of the chief national correspondent. “As he acknowledged on Sunday, Matt Gutman’s initial reporting was not accurate and failed to meet our editorial standards.”
And yes, Gutman is taking full responsibility for his actions.
“We are in the business of holding people accountable,” Gutman said in a new statement to E! News. “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.”
Indeed, Gutman was one of the first reporters on the scene on Sunday (Jan. 26) following the helicopter crash in California which took the lives of nine people, including the NBA legend.
However, in the minutes after the crash, Gutman went on air, claiming that all four of Bryant’s children had also been killed in the accident. As we now know, only one of Bryant’s daughters, Gianna, perished in the crash.
And while Gutman soon retracted the statement, the emotional damage had already been done.
“Today I inaccurately reported it was believed that four of Kobe Bryant’s children were on board that flight,” he told viewers Sunday (Jan. 26.) “That is incorrect. I apologize to Kobe’s family, friends and our viewers.”
Today I inaccurately reported it was believed that four of Kobe Bryant’s children were on board that flight. That is incorrect. I apologize to Kobe’s family, friends and our viewers. pic.twitter.com/yYwuB9vpZl
— Matt Gutman (@mattgutmanABC) January 27, 2020