Witnesses at the BPI vs. ABC defamation trial expressed differing opinions about the fairness of the network’s news coverage of BPI’s lean fine-textured beef, which the network repeated called “pink slime” during its news coverage.

ABC news anchor Diane Sawyer gave a video deposition in which she defended reporter Jim Avila’s coverage of LFTB, reports the Sioux City Journal.

"I read the script and it seemed to be factual and fair and seemed to be credible reporting," Sawyer said in the deposition, conducted by BPI attorney Dan Webb.

Asked by Webb whether the network had decided by the time a followup story aired the next night if LFTB was not as nutritious as other cuts of beef, a statement Avila made in his report, Sawyer said that if Avila said that was true, she believed him.

Janet Riley of the North American Meat Institute testified about her interactions with ABC personnel during the coverage. Riley said she had provided ABC producer Brian Hartman with a video about LFTB and a statement about the product before the March 7 report, but none of the information was included in the report, though she conceded that the video and other information she provided was posted on the network's "World News Tonight" website. She also emailed Hartman with concerns that Avila’s description of LFTB as low-grade trimmings once used only for dog food was “patently false.”

For the most recent updates from the trial, read the latest article from the Journal at http://siouxcityjournal.com/news/local/sawyer-called-abc-beef-reports-factual-fair/article_b40d4df1-0eeb-5483-90a5-4643c4b254bc.html.

Source: Sioux City Journal