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Reporter Suspended After Big Kobe Bryant Error

Matt Gutman said it was believed that all 4 of the NBA star's daughters were on helicopter
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 30, 2020 2:00 PM CST
This Feb. 26, 2018 file photo shows Vanessa Bryant, from left, Kobe Bryant, Natalia Bryant and Gianna Maria-Onore Bryant at the world premiere of "A Wrinkle in Time" in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

(Newser) – In the immediate aftermath of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his 13-year-old daughter, ABC News correspondent Matt Gutman erroneously reported that all four of the NBA star's daughters were believed to have been on the helicopter when it went down. Now, ABC has suspended Gutman, who has apologized for the inaccurate report multiple times. "Today I inaccurately reported it was believed that four of Kobe Bryant’s children were on board that flight. That is incorrect. I apologize to Kobe’s family, friends and our viewers," he tweeted Sunday. And in a statement to E! News Wednesday, he added, "We are in the business of holding people accountable. And I hold myself accountable for a terrible mistake, which I deeply regret. I want to personally apologize to the Bryant family for this wrenching loss and any additional anguish my report caused."

An ABC News spokesperson added, "Reporting the facts accurately is the cornerstone of our journalism. As he acknowledged on Sunday, Matt Gutman's initial reporting was not accurate and failed to meet our editorial standards." Gutman has worked for ABC since 2008. Sports Illustrated notes that his report, which was also seen on ESPN, contributed to inaccurate stories about the crash that quickly spread on social media, and that many were "angry" when they learned the report had been wrong and called for Gutman to be fired. It's not clear how long the suspension will last, Page Six reports. (Read more Kobe Bryant stories.)

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