The Department of Veterans Affairs finally returned a sound card to WAMU radio reporter David Schultz last week after illegally confiscating it at a VA-hosted public meeting. But the public radio station is still "very concerned" about the VA’s suggestions to the media that Schultz did not properly identify himself as a reporter at the event, according to a letter the general manager sent the department on Wednesday.
WAMU general manager Caryn Mathes wrote to VA official Phil Riggin that Schultz not only notified the VA prior to the meeting that he would be there, but he also identified himself upon entering the VA facility and later again to a VA public affairs official. In addition, the reporter clearly set up reporting equipment that visibly displayed the station’s call sign and logo, Mathes said.
"We reiterate our request for a prompt apology to WAMU and Mr. Schultz," Mathes said. "And we ask that the VA stop suggesting that Mr. Schultz in any way concealed his identity as a journalist, which is simply untrue."
VA officials did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.