As America was waking up to the horrific and tragic heinous actions of suspected lone gunman, James Holmes’, shooting and murder of 12 people and wounding of 58 others, ABC News was again practicing the worst kind of yellow journalism. During a morning news segment of Good Morning America, Anchor George Stephanopoulos, and Brian Ross, ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent erroneously and callously linked an innocent Colorado man with the same name to this tragedy without making any attempt at verification of his identity. His only “alleged crime” was being a member of the Tea Party.
So in an instant, the name of an innocent man was automatically linked to one of the most despicable acts of violence perpetrated against the nation’s citizens, and the Tea Party was demonized. This was done, because ABC’s Brian Ross neglected to follow the first essential rule of journalism 101, always, always check and verify your facts!
Make no mistake, this was not an innocent accident, because on previous occasions, former Clinton White House Political Advisor George Stephanopoulos has attempted to link or malign the Tea Party or Sarah Palin. This was done most notably in after the assassination attempt upon U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and eighteen other people in Casas Adobes, just outside of Tucson, Arizona in January 2011.
There was a rush to judgment to link the Tea Party to the shooter by several media networks, including ABC, then, MSNBC and ABC. The goal was to discredit and demonize the Tea Party in the eyes of Americans, two months after the democrats lost the U.S. House of Representatives and Obama’s politics were soundly repudiated at the polls.
This type of gotcha journalism practiced at any cost must be stopped. There is a limit where yellow journalistic practices by media organizations which continue to perpetrate an active and ongoing fraud of disinformation campaigns must be eliminated. The perpetrators must be fined, suspended or fired as was the case involving Dan Rather in 2004, when he aired falsified forged documents about President Bush on CBS ’60 Minutes.
ABC Brian Ross’ blurting out a clear un-validated libelous statement, showed an apparent intent to cast a dark ominous shadow on the Tea Party in the midst of a Presidential election years. Again, past was prologue in 2004, when Dan Rather’s equally sinister design was to place doubt and suspicion in the minds of an unsuspecting American people about President Bush, two months before the 2004 general election.
The intent is clear and convincing to any unbiased viewer, that this fall general election is going to be close, and the Tea Part patriot voters and independents are going to supply the winning 1 ½ to 2 percent edge that could push Mitt Romney over the line and secure the presidency.
This is why any attempt by news organizations like ABC News with its Brian Ross’s and George Stephanopoulos to raise suspicions and cast doubt upon the Tea Party is so completely insulting to the integrity of journalism.
Both Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos must be fined and suspended or fired. CBS Mary Mapes, and several of her senior news executives, were asked to resign from the network in 2004 for their clearly fraudulent action; ABC News should follow CBS’ lead.
In addition, ABC News and its network should show integrity and issue a public apology as then CBS News President Andrew Heyward did in 2004, instead of lurking in the shadows behind a lame Twitter apology from Brian Ross. Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos aired the false remarks on national network programming and the network apology should be done in the same fashion.
When America’s family suffers such a painful tragedy as the nation did when those innocent moviegoers; children, parents, couples, friends, and other just good regular folks, were callously murdered and injured, we all mourn. This is the time when the families and survivors as well as the nation seek true answers and explanations to help each begin to cope.
ABC News’ Brian Ross unfortunately decided to select the slippery dark politicized road of mistruth and deception. America, and its news gathers are better than that, and the nation deserves better than that. America deserves integrity.