Cleveland, OH - This was a once in a lifetime opportunity for three Ohio State University senior students. The Plain Dealer paid for part of the story.
The students were heading to the National Championship football game, with a Plain Dealer reporter riding right along with them, to chronical the entire thing.
The story was a huge success, reporter John Camponelli was even bragging about it on W-T-A-M radio and let something slip, that should not have came out.
Campanelli was caught saying "I didn't pay for all of the gas I paid for a generous portion of it."
"We stayed in some cheap hotels. And the Plain Dealer did put them up. Otherwise these kids would be sleeping in their car."
Holy buckeye butt kicking, did the Plain Dealer just admit to paying for part of this story? The one where three poor college students with no money for tickets, barely enough gas money, and were sleeping in cars just to get to the big game only to break the law by sneaking into the stadium to see the game?
19 Action News reporter Dan Deroos went to the Plain Dealer to get answers, only to find out that yes, the newspaper did pay for half of the gas for the trip down, and put the kids up in hotel rooms, not in their car. Isn't that influencing a story? A big journalism no-no.
The Plain Dealer's Editor, Doug Clifton, says the answer to that question was no, in his view.
Well of course that's his view. He is the Editor of the paper, sitting high a top the thrown of the glass castle known as the Plain Dealer. Clifton says that paying for gas and lodging on the trip did not influence the outcome of the story.
Clifton goes on to say "And if it's your view that a line was crossed then fine, and, and when this is aired I'll decide if you crossed a line because I think you're about to.
Our 19 Action News reporter Dan Deroos said "We'll let viewers decide".
Clifton mocked our reporter, and snubbed our viewers by saying "Ohh we'll let the viewers decide." Did Clifton seriously just disrespect the 19 Action News viewers like that?