ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A television reporter quit her job on live TV with a big four-letter flourish after revealing she owns a medical marijuana business and intends to press for legalisation of recreational pot in Alaska.
After reporting on the Alaska Cannabis Club on Sunday night’s broadcast, KTVA’s Charlo Greene identified herself as the business’s owner.
“Everything you’ve heard is why I, the actual owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, will be dedicating all my energy toward fighting for freedom and for fairness, which begins with legalising marijuana here in Alaska,” she said during the late Sunday evening newscast. “And as for this job, well not that I have a choice, but f— it, I quit.”
She then walked off camera.
KTVA News Director Bert Rudman apologised for Greene’s “inappropriate language” and said she was terminated in statements Sunday. He apologised again yesterday, this time for Greene’s ethical lapses.
“She had a personal and business stake in the issue she was reporting, but did not disclose that interest to us,” Rudman said in a statement.
Greene is the professional name used by Charlene Egbe. She told The Associated Press yesterday that she knew about a month ago that she would be leaving the way she did. No one else at the station knew anything about it, she said.
Alaska voters will decide in the November election whether to join Washington and Colorado in decriminalising pot.
Greene doesn’t believe the manner of her departure is harming her cause.
“Are we talking about it, or not, because of what I did. Period,” she said. “It always goes back to the issue.”
Greene, 26, said she always fact checked and was unbiased about the issue as a reporter.
“I’m passionate about doing my job, and at the time my job was being a journalist,” Greene said.
Taylor Bickford, a spokesman for a group backing the measure to legalise pot, said he hopes Alaska voters look beyond Greene’s salty language.
A spokeswoman for the opposition group Big Marijuana Big Mistake said it has twice complained to KTVA management about what it claimed was Greene’s biased coverage of the ballot initiative.