Hubbard: Don't blame KSTP, blame the police for #pointergate

Stanley Hubbard
Stanley S. Hubbard, president of Hubbard Broadcasting, sits at his St. Paul, Minn. office, Thursday, April 4, 2002.
Janet Hostetter / AP file

Hubbard Broadcasting Chair Stanley Hubbard responded Friday to Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges' comments about a KSTP-TV story earlier this week that has been mockingly dubbed #pointergate on social media.

The report claimed that Hodges flashed a gang sign in a photograph. Hubbard, whose company owns KSTP, has said the station will not apologize for the story.

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said Friday on The Daily Circuit that the KSTP report is rooted in racism and in her conflicts with police union leadership.

Hubbard spoke with MPR News' Steven John Friday afternoon. Listen to the audio for the full interview. Below are excerpts from the conversation.

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More on #pointergate

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Hodges: Racism, police union conflict at heart of #pointergate

Interview highlights

Hubbard on whether KSTP should apologize:
This isn't something we did. You can blame the police and you can yell at them. Don't blame us. We're only reporting the news, and we will continue to report the news. We're very sorry if somebody was offended. The facts are the facts. We only report the facts, and the facts are that multiple police agencies said this was a bad thing.

On allegations of racial undertones in KSTP's reporting:
I hired the first black anchorman in the Minneapolis/St. Paul market. And we've got a lot of people of color in the workforce here and elsewhere in the country. Don't suggest that we ever, ever, ever have any racist thoughts, feelings, actions or intentions.

On feedback KSTP has received on its reporting:
A lot of positive — boy, the day of we had positive phone calls and emails, yes ... by the general public.

On whether or not KSTP has reached out to Mayor Hodges:
We tried to but she wouldn't talk to us. And if she'd talk to us in the first place, this story might not have ever come about.

On future coverage on the topic by KSTP:
I think we're doing a story next week, because every time we check the facts we find out more.