Kyle Dyer dog bite: 9News exec denies muzzling staff, defends coverage

Thumbnail image for patti dennis on today show.jpg
Patti Dennis.
Yesterday, in a followup to our items about the Kyle Dyer/9News on-air dog bite incident, we wrote about the disappearance of a critical Facebook post by staffer Kirk Montgomery, and wondered if the station had censored it. This post incensed news director Patti Dennis, who categorically denies any such action, defends her calls requesting that other outlets not use the footage, and decried Westword's speculation as not just "false" but "immoral."

The item was prompted by a discussion yesterday morning on Peter Boyles's KHOW radio program in which Westword editor Patricia Calhoun and I participated. During the conversation, we discussed a guest commentary by former Denver Post staffer John Moore entitled "Fox-31's handling of dog bite video flips 9News the bird," which stated that Montgomery "wrote there's a special place in hell for whoever at the local Fox affiliate has chosen to keep airing the slowed-down video of a dog biting 9News co-anchor Kyle Dyer's lip on live TV." However, that post and another by Montgomery (who has been contacted but has not yet agreed to an interview on this subject) are no longer on view at the Facebook page where they originally appeared.

kirk montgomery facebook.jpg
Kirk Montgomery's Facebook profile photo.
After sharing this information in our blog post, I posed several questions: "Did 9News order Montgomery to remove the post? Or did he remove it himself? And if he chose the latter tack, was the decision inspired in part by pressure from his bosses?" My answer: "We don't know the answers to those questions at this writing. But we do know that this is the second time since the biting incident that a Facebook post by a 9News air personality on this subject has disappeared. Gary Shapiro, Dyer's co-anchor on the station's popular morning news program, turned to Facebook to disseminate a quick update on her condition in the immediate aftermath of the bite. This note was quoted in a different Denver Post story, but shortly thereafter, it was gone."

The piece subsequently noted a Today show package on the Dyer dog bite, which stated that 9News had attempted to squelch dissemination of the video footage in question. My concluding line: "The old saw popularized during the Watergate era -- it's not the crime, it's the cover up -- has never been more true."

Dennis's response? "This story is so wrong, it's almost laughable," she says. "And comparing this to Watergate is just false. It's harmful, because it's not true. To make assumptions about our station not covering the story is absolutely immoral."

According to Dennis, neither she nor any other member of 9News management told either Shapiro or Montgomery to remove the aforementioned Facebook posts. "There has been no conversation -- none, zero -- about doing that," she stresses. She adds that she didn't know about the existence of these messages until after the fact.

Moreover, Dennis says that no e-mail or other communication was sent to staffers about not talking to the press or sharing information in the wake of the biting incident, which involved Max, an Argentine Mastiff whose rescue from an icy pond had been broadcast live. Such a reminder wasn't needed, she feels, because of the well-known policy establishing her or general manager Mark Cornetta as the only individuals authorized to speak for the station.

Page down to continue reading our interview with 9News' Patti Dennis.



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
15 comments
Mbpruet
Mbpruet

Patti Dennis needs an education in journalism and ethics. It is not news when it happens to her station and she asks other stations not to run the story. Was this story any worse than other horrible event. Ms. Dennis should look in the mirror as if this occurred somewhere else the story would have been put on the air and repeated. Isn't news about reporting the facts and being honest or covering up errors in judgement. How does she remain in her current position.

Guest
Guest

Patti Dennis is a bully.  Anyone who has worked for her or dealt with her has witnessed her tactics.  It is about time that someone is standing up to her on a horrible judgment call.  She has made plenty and usually skates without being called on the carpet. 

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

"immoral" [lol! ... another irony meter explodes]"I was trying to understand copyright..," [ya think a news director might need to know that?]"...where her face is actually torn off." [histrionic much?]"nobody has copyright to post it on a website -- not YouTube, not anybody -- unless the copyright holder allows it." [copyright FAIL] This Patti Dennis comes across as a hysterical nitwit who couldn't pour water out of a boot -- if there were instructions on the heel.

Cavsarecute
Cavsarecute

Horse manure!  Dennis tried to keep the video from being aired because it clearly shows her employee at fault.  Kyle was doing what she was told to do that morning and that was interview the parties involved in the dog rescue and interacting with Max.  As far as covering stories involving station employees - what about the sex scandal involving the recently departed (let go, not dead) investigative reporter?  Also, Dennis is the journalist responsible for putting the balloon boy hoax story on the air and causing an international hoopla without properly vetting the source of the call or the credibility of the father.  Why wasn't the video pulled when the poor balloon boy threw up at a press conference because he was so upset?  Instead, it was entered in awards competitions for best spot news.  And so it goes....

Guest
Guest

Speaking of Shit Girls in Denver say,   "I asked that people not run the part of it where her face is actually torn off."

Guest2
Guest2

"She likens it to other video the station has obtained over the years -- images of people being shot, stabbed, killed -- that weren't aired because doing so would have been gratuitous."

I just threw up a little in my mouth.

Name and produce one (1) image that wasn't aired.  Liar.

Tell the truth
Tell the truth

What would you expect from someone who is in charge of a station who produces absolutely the WORST news product in town. Heheteeheehaha "news".  Ms. Dennis is in over her head.  I find that KCNC is head and shoulders above any 9 news production.  Funny, I just walked by a tv that had on 9 "news" .  A bunch of cheerleaders were jumping around and screaming.  for about 45 seconds, then quickly cut to some scenery and music.  Must have realized how Podunk USA it looked. These people need their jobs, and undoubtedly tread lightly, and circle their wagons around KUSA "family".

C.J.
C.J.

Patti Dennis is an opportunistic blowhard  who only values "news" when it suits her interests and bottom line. And certainly never when the rest of the "newsroom" is all verklempt after an "attack" against one of their own -- even when such "attack" was brought on by the knuckleheadedness of their own. Patti Dennis needs to go to journalism school -- not back it; it's clear she's never been. Oh, and yeah, get that face fixed. Did the Mastiff bite her too?

9News, where news comes only when Patti Dennis deems it so from her high horse.

Guest
Guest

Speaking of faces being torn off, when did Patti have hers sewn back on, (badly, I might add!)?

Erick
Erick

thou doth protest too much ...

Guest
Guest

Doth protest too much, Ms. Dennis.  Imagine that one of your photogs got some killer footage of a woman being attacked by a bear.  After the high-fives at the station started to simmer down, you received a phone call from the mother of the person attacked.  "Please don't run that video, my daughter's young children would be traumatized."  Honestly, what would your response be?  Of course, you would deem the newsworthiness of the footage to supersede the concerns of the mother and the children.  You know it.  I know it.  We all know it.  Your disgusting news judgement is revealed when you describe (in your only-a-tv-journalist-way) Kyle's face as  being "torn off."  The only regret you have in this whole situation is that it didn't happen to someone else at a different station. 

Erick
Erick

oops - I guess you said that already ... (-:

Light Rail Tattler
Light Rail Tattler

Why is it the media is obsessed with this Dog Story at Nine Wants To Know?

That Anthropology Student that got hit by the Light Rail Train at Speer Blvd and Stout Street was transfered to Craig Hospital this week; she's paralysed but not newsworthy enough for the Westword,

Lt Matt Murray of the corrupt Denver Police Media Relations Bureau claimed she was wearing headphones and many witnesses aboard the train saw her get hit. Lt Matt Murray is a liar. Nobody aboard the Light Rail Train can see what is going on in front of the train.

Please Google: RTD Light Rail Train Crash

Now Trending

Denver Concert Tickets

Around The Web

From the Vault

 

Loading...