Apologies issued for PG reporter's remarks

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The Post-Gazette, KDKA-TV and Post-Gazette reporter Paul Zeise have apologized for remarks Zeise made on "Sports Showdown" Sunday night.

"We apologize for the insensitive and offensive remarks made on Sunday's "Sports Showdown," the Post-Gazette said in a statement issued yesterday. "Paul Zeise's comments do not represent the view of the Post-Gazette."

Zeise, who covers Pitt football and college basketball for the Post-Gazette, said, "I regret the poor choice of analogies I used to characterize a professional athlete's legal situation."

KDKA also apologized on its 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts yesterday.

The "Sports Showdown," which runs for 30 minutes beginning at 11:35 p.m., is a weekly discussion show with three or four members of the local media with KDKA sports anchor Bob Pompeani as the host. Panelists Sunday were Zeise; Paul Alexander, an anchor-reporter for FSN Pittsburgh; and Ellis Cannon, a talk-show host on WPGB-FM.

The subject for discussion was Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick, who has been indicted by the federal government on dogfighting charges.

In introducing the topic, Pompeani said NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is "probably going to suspend [Vick] for the rest of the season, the whole year. Is he right to do that given the fact this guy has not been convicted of anything?" Alexander answered: "Absolutely. When you're indicted by the federal government, you're going down. Since 1987 they have a 92 percent conviction rate."

Zeise took an opposing view. "It's really a sad day in this country when somehow ... Michael Vick would have been better off raping a woman if you look at the outcry of what happened. Had he done that, he probably would have been suspended for four games and he'd be back on the field. But because this has become a political issue, all of a sudden the commissioner has lost his stomach for it."

KDKA general manager Chris Pike said, "We apologize for the inappropriate and insensitive comments that do not reflect the view of KDKA management and staff."

Pike said Zeise, who was among a group of eight to 10 rotating panelists, will not be invited back on the show.

Bob Smizik can be reached at bsmizik@post-gazette.com .


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