It’s nearly a month-old, but what is purported to be an unedited (and never-before-heard) audio recording of a television interview with Jeff Bent popped-up on StrongCity.info this morning. According to the Web site, the interview had been taped May 9th for ABC’s Good Morning America.
But the interview never appeared on GMA. More on that in a moment.
The recording that appears here (please hover pointer over photo at left for player) is used with Jeff Bent’s permission.
Jeff Bent is the son of the leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church, Wayne Bent (aka Michael Travesser).
In a story Beyond90Seconds.com broke May 20th, a New Mexico grand jury indicted Wayne Bent on four charges: Two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second degree, unclothed. And two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
This morning, I sent an e-mail to Wayne Bent and requested permission to publish the recording on this blog. My e-mail also included the following questions:
1) Did GMA ever broadcast the interview w/Jeff? If not, do you know why?
2) Was it an on-camera interview (as it would appear to have been)?
3) Was the producer (if that is the correct title) who is heard questioning Jeff aware that a representative of your church was also recording the interview?
4) Did your church record the interview as a safeguard to ensure that any presentation of a GMA/ABC story based on this interview was accurately presented?
Wayne Bent referred me to his son.
I received an e-mail from Jeff Bent a bit later this morning. He gave me permission to use the recording.
In his e-mail, Jeff Bent also answered the questions I had first posed to his father. I asked Jeff Bent for his permission to share excerpts of that e-mail here. He has obliged.
Here is most of what Jeff Bent wrote to me this morning:
GMA never broadcasted the interview. The interview took place at 4:20 AM and was initially to be broadcast live on GMA. There was a satellite truck parked outside my house with a live uplink to GMA. Inside my house was a camera crew from Denver, who operated the camera, lighting, and sound equipment. The producer sat across from me. GMA cut away to the story of tornadoes in the midwest, and so the producer said she would ask the questions and the interview would be used later in the broadcast. At the end of the interview, the producer told me she would be taking the video tape back to New York with her and it would be used at a later time.
On Saturday, May 10, the producer emailed me and said my interview would be broadcast the following Monday on GMA. It wasn’t broadcast. The producer explained a couple of weeks later that since I had bailed my father out of jail, the interview had become dated.
This article was posted on the ABC News website and was based upon the interview I gave to GMA…
After the interview we informed the producer that the interview was recorded (Producer is her title, she said she is not a reporter). She did not object or express any reservations about it. The digital recorder was sitting on the counter-top next to where she was seated and in plain site.
Our motives for recording were simply to provide a record of the event, and to provide an opportunity for others in the land to listen to what was said. All news outlets spin the story in a way that will get ratings, and if we didn’t want that to happen, we wouldn’t speak to them at all.
*editor’s note: It’s my hope that Beyond90Seconds.com hasn’t “spun” this story to get ratings (more accurately, readers). The intent here is to be fair. Perhaps the slogan should be, “So fair, I’m boring!“)