News Anchor Wendy Bell was so fed up about a shooting that killed five adults, including an expecting mother-to-be, she went to her personal Facebook account to lay out her thoughts albeit in anger over THUGS, who were still at-large. This massacre happened at a cookout in Wilkinsburg, PA.
When WTAE got wind of Bell’s response via her Facebook page, they fired her on the spot. Here is the text of Wendy Bell’s original Facebook post, which has since been deleted.
Next to “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times,” I remember my mom most often saying to my sister and me when we were young and constantly fighting, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I’ve really had nothing nice to say these past 11 days and so this page has been quiet. There’s no nice words to write when a coward holding an AK-47 hoses down a family and their friends sharing laughs and a mild evening on a back porch in Wilkinsburg.
There’s no kind words when 6 people are murdered. When their children have to hide for cover and then emerge from the frightened shadows to find their mother’s face blown off or their father’s twisted body leaking blood into the dirt from all the bullet holes. There’s just been nothing nice to say. And I’ve been dragging around this feeling like a cold I can’t shake that rattles in my chest each time I breathe and makes my temples throb. I don’t want to hurt anymore. I’m tired of hurting.
You needn’t be a criminal profiler to draw a mental sketch of the killers who broke so many hearts two weeks ago Wednesday. I will tell you they live within 5 miles of Franklin Avenue and Ardmore Boulevard and have been hiding out since in a home likely much closer to that backyard patio than anyone thinks. They are young black men, likely teens or in their early 20s. They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs. These boys have been in the system before. They’ve grown up there. They know the police. They’ve been arrested. They’ve made the circuit and nothing has scared them enough. Now they are lost. Once you kill a neighbor’s three children, two nieces and her unborn grandson, there’s no coming back. There’s nothing nice to say about that.
But there is HOPE. And Joe and I caught a glimpse of it Saturday night. A young, African American teen hustling like nobody’s business at a restaurant we took the boys to over at the Southside Works. This child stacked heavy glass glasses 10 high and carried three teetering towers of them in one hand with plates piled high in the other. He wiped off the tables. Tended to the chairs. Got down on his hands and knees to pick up the scraps that had fallen to the floor. And he did all this with a rhythm and a step that gushed positivity. He moved like a dancer with a satisfied smile on his face. And I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He’s going to Make It.
When Joe paid the bill, I asked to see the manager. He came over to our table apprehensively and I told him that that young man was the best thing his restaurant had going. The manager beamed and agreed that his young employee was special. As the boys and we put on our coats and started walking out — I saw the manager put his arm around that child’s shoulder and pat him on the back in congratulation. It will be some time before I forget the smile that beamed across that young worker’s face — or the look in his eyes as we caught each other’s gaze. I wonder how long it had been since someone told him he was special.
There’s someone in your life today — a stranger you’re going to come across — who could really use that. A hand up. A warm word. Encouragement. Direction. Kindness. A Chance. We can’t change what’s already happened, but we can be a part of what’s on the way. Speak up. Reach out. Dare to Care. Give part of You to someone else. That, my friends, can change someone’s course. And then — just maybe THEN — I’ll start feeling again like there’s something nice to say.
What ever happened to support the people that work for you. No doubt she was a popular member of the team and she was expressing her views because she was angry. She knows the area up there as she has been covering it for years, give her some credit. The station also apologized for her remarks here:
“Her post offended us. … Wendy is sorry for the words she chose, and so are we. It was an egregious lack of judgment. WTAE regrets it happened and is committed to making sure something like this doesn’t happen again.”
Do I fault this reporter for her words, no. I served my country so that people could have the right to say what they want when they want to. I might not agree, but a lot of people might not agree with what I have to say on occasion. That’s life. But firing her for this is beyond the pale, and I hope she rebounds in a better job that respects her a lot more than this TV station.
If I lived in this viewing area, I would have just tuned out this station. What do you think about this station’s choice of discipline for what she said on her private social media page? Do you think they went too far? Share your comments (below) and add this to your Facebook and Twitter timeline for discussion.