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December 13, 2007
'Ready to move on': Jewish Federation meets with Adrienne Bankert, receives apology

Channel 3 reporter Adrienne Bankert has met with local Jewish leaders and apologized for disparaging comments about Jewish people that she made two weeks ago during a speaking engagement at Sac State.

Michal Kohane, executive director of the Jewish Federation of the Sacramento Region, confirmed this afternoon that they met with the traffic reporter on Monday and says that her organization is satisfied with Bankert's explanation.

"It was a good meeting, overall," Kohane says. "The conclusion we walked away with was that her comments were not made maliciously."

Bankert could not be reached for comment, and KCRA executives declined to discuss the substance of the meeting.

But Kohane called it "an opportunity not to educate so much as to build bridges and learn about each other."

"It wasn’t a malicious statement," she adds. "In fact, she said she meant it as a positive thing. But for a variety of reasons, it came out not sounding positive. Everybody in the room realized it was not her intent."

Kohane says her group had not sought Bankert's firing or any action against her.

According to a story by the State Hornet, Bankert made her comments during a meeting hosted by the International Students Christian Fellowship and attended by 10 people.

On Dec. 3, KCRA management issued a statement saying that the station "does not condone or endorse any comment that was made." Anzio Williams, news director at Channel 3, also said that they have "taken steps to address the matter internally." He did not elaborate.

Bankert issued an apology later that same day.

Kohane says that Bankert's apology to her and other Jewish leaders was "a lot more heartfelt."

"(Bankert) explained what she said. She didn’t get up and say, 'The Jews are rich, therefore it’s bad. Let’s take all their money,'" Kohane says. "But in her experience, she was fortunate to meet Jewish people who were fortunate. That’s not necessarily an accurate picture of all Jewish people all over the world.

"Her theology is, if God loves you, you’ll be successful and here’s an example of people who are successful. She saw it as a good thing. I truly believe that’s not how she intended it to come across. ... We are ready to move on."

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