Brian Ross Comment on Colorado Shooting

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by Web Producer

wfaa.com

Posted on September 10, 2012 at 11:34 AM


Q: Friday was the last day I will ever watch channel 8.  You have a network – ABC -- that is the biggest fraud in journalism.  Brian Ross did it for me.  50 years of watching Channel 8, and the next 50 will be with Fox. Sad.  

Q: I contacted ABC corporate headquarters yesterday to demand the dismissal of Brian Ross and George Stephanopoulos for their egregious reporting Friday morning.  Today I received a return email that my email should be addressed to my local affiliate.  Since you don't have responsibility of hiring/firing irresponsible journalists at the corporate level, I know this email seems inappropriate.  However, please note ABC is losing viewership because of their blatant political bias.

A:  We received two questions about a recent ABC News report following the shooting in Aurora, CO. ABC News Correspondent Brian Ross incorrectly suggested there might have been a link between the alleged shooter in the Colorado theater tragedy and the Tea Party. Both Ross and the network have apologized for making the statement.

His comments came after officials reached out to news outlets with information that the suspect was named James Holmes. ABC’s George Stephanopoulos said to Ross during on "Good Morning America, "You've been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant."

"There's a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year," Ross said. "Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it's Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado."

Soon afterwards, Ross gave more information about Holmes' background. He also clarified his earlier statement saying, “An earlier report that I had was incorrect that he was connected with the Tea Party in fact that’s a different Jim Holmes," said Ross. "He was not connected to the Tea Party and what we do know about him is he is a 24 year old white male who went to Colorado for a PhD."

ABC News also apologized for the incorrect report, saying "ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.”

WFAA is a network affiliate, however we not share ownership or editorial content. The station had no connection to Ross’ mistake, which it appears from reports, will just that. It would be a shame to think that a single comment made in error with no connection to WFAA would result in the loss of a long time viewer.

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