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REPORTER’S “PLEA DEAL” STORY PROMPTS REBUKE, DERISION

WIS TV 10 (NBC – Columbia, S.C.) reporter P.J. Randhawa may be easy on the eyes, but you should probably take her reporting on the ongoing Bobby Harrell scandal with an ocean of salt ..

This week, Randhawa and the ethically challenged Associated Press teamed up to file a report on the latest developments in the public corruption case against the powerful S.C. Speaker of the House.

From their story: “Some political experts even go so far as to predict Harrell could step down within 60 days and accept a plea agreement from Wilson although we can’t confirm that one has been offered.”

Whoa. ┬áThat’s seismic stuff, right? Sure it is … or at least it would be if there were even a shred of validity to any of it.

Far be it from us to tell “real” journalists how to do their jobs, but Randhawa and the Associated Press might want to consider finding themselves some new “political experts.” Or brush up on their knowledge of the prosecutorial process.

“I about fell out of my chair when I heard that,” a source intimately familiar with the Harrell investigation told FITS. “The phrase ‘plea deal’ has never been mentioned in any private conversation.┬áSomebody out there is running their mouth – and whoever it is that’s running their mouth is running it about something they have no idea on.”

Sources close to S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson say the state’s top prosecutor was “flabbergasted” by Randhawa’s report, although Wilson’s office did not immediately respond to our request for comment on the matter.

“How can you offer someone a plea deal when no one has been charged with anything?” one legal expert asked us incredulously. “The investigation is still underway. No one’s been charged with anything.”

Exactly. Don’t tell that to the state’s intellectually incurious mainstream media, though …