Cleveland TV station apologizes for reporting Charles Ramsey's criminal record


On its Facebook page, WEWS-TV says "we made a poor judgment call in posting a story about Charles Ramsey’s criminal record and how he’s since reformed."

While the story was factually sound, the timing of it and publication of such information was not in good taste, and we regret it. Your comments prompted us to quickly remove the story from our website and Facebook page, but we know we can’t erase what we’ve already done. Ramsey is a hero for his actions, and we recognize that. Thank you so much for your feedback.

Ramsey is a key figure in the story of how three missing women escaped captivity after 10 years. The Smoking Gun reported he was "once a repeat spousal abuser whose marriage ended in divorce following a 2003 felony conviction for battering his wife." Also, as WEWS and others reported, another neighbor named Angel Cordero appears to have played as big a role as Ramsey in the women's rescue. "Both stories reveal the dangers in lionizing someone at the heart of a breaking news event too soon," Eric Deggans wrote in a piece published on Poynter Thursday.

"I don't care how factual it is or was, it never should have even been researched," one commenter wrote on WEWS' post.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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