The journalists of Good Morning America on Tuesday pointed a speculative finger in the wake of the Boston bombing. An ABC graphic wondered, "Could this be homegrown terror?" In a segment full of guesses, reporter Pierre Thomas featured leftist Mark Potok, the man who labeled the Family Research Council (FRC) a "hate group."
Regarding the date that the explosion occurred on, Potok linked, "The real Patriots Day is April 19th. That is the date that counts for people on the extreme right in the United States." [See video below. MP3 audio here.] Other than Potok, no other expert voices were featured in the segment. News anchor Josh Elliott backed up Potok's assertions, theorizing, "One big clue could be Monday's date, April 15th. The anniversaries of some of the most harrowing incidents in domestic terror are coming this week." Thomas then went on to highlight David Koresh and the Oklahoma City bombing. The justification? They also happened in April.
It's not often that media outlets ignore their own scoops, but that's what ABC is doing. The network has (thus far) relegated to its website the latest details on the decision by the Obama Defense Department to deny Purple Hearts to the victims of the Fort Hood massacre. The rest of the networks have also skipped this story. ABC "obtained" a Pentagon position paper on the subject, but still failed to give it network coverage.
It was ABC alone that highlighted the story back in February. On February 12, Brian Ross explained the impact of the decision to deny Purple Hearts: "...Former Staff Sgt. Shawn Manning, who still has bullets lodged in his body, says he has lost almost $70,000 in benefits otherwise available to those with combat-related injuries." So far, World News, Nightline and Good Morning America (as well as NBC and CBS) have failed to cover the newest details of the story. In fact, ABC has done nothing since February.
Liberal bias in journalism is not just bad for the profession as an abstract concept, it's bad for the bottom line of media companies and their shareholders. That was the argument of one Justin Danhof of the conservative National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) when he attended a Disney shareholders meeting and confronted the entertainment company's CEO Bob Iger about liberal bias at the news division of ABC. "Liberal bias pervades Disney's media outlets" and "it's time to stop denying this bias and start doing something about it," Danhof argued, having cited former ESPN analyst Rob Parker's "cornball brother" crack about black quarterback and alleged Republican Robert Griffin III and ABC News's Brian Ross's infamous episode in which he hinted that Auroroa, Colorado theater shooter James Holmes might be a Tea Party member.
Danhof argued that Disney executives need to take seriously NCPPR's concerns and the concerns of other conservatives who happen to own Disney stock. Danhof appealed not so much to Iger's sense of journalistic integrity but rather the bottom line: Putting out a fairer, more balanced news product may help ABC attract more conservative viewers, and with them, higher ratings and more customers buying products from ABC News program sponsors, leading of course to higher profit margins for Disney. [h/t Huffington Post; Danhof's statement embedded below the page break]
ABC's Nightline on Tuesday night uniquely highlighted the "betrayal" of Fort Hood victims by Barack Obama, exposing how the President "used" survivors as props for the 2010 State of the Union address. After 13 people were murdered by Nidal Hasan, the government labeled the shooting an example of "workplace violence" (instead of terrorism) and the Army decided not to award Purple Hearts to the victims. This has led to skyrocketing recovery costs for those who lived through the violence.
Talking to one of the heroes, Kimberly Munley, Ross explained, "A hero betrayed? Her courage saved lives during a massacre on a Texas Army base. So why is she now claiming President Obama and other victims?" He informed viewers that Munley believes "the President broke the promise made to her that all the victims and her families would be well-taken care of." ABC alone covered this angle of the survivors' suffering. NBC and CBS have, thus far, skipped it. [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
While ultimately only cop-killer Christopher Dorner is responsible for his crimes, the liberal media's deliberate papering over of the left-wing views that inspired him is telling, NewsBusters publisher Brent Bozell noted on the February 7 edition of Fox News Channel's Hannity program.
When you read Dorner's manifesto, it's clear that "[y]ou've got a direct association of liberal luminaries with this killer. This in no way is to suggest that" any of them should be held responsible for Dorner's murders, Bozell cautioned, but, that being said, "how in the world do you put that alongside the pattern of these reporters on the Left who have connected the dots to conservatives in previous killings when there was no connection to conservatives?" [watch segment video below page break]
ABC News, the same network which falsely linked the Tea Party to a mass killing in Colorado, on Wednesday ignored an alleged connection between Occupy Wall Street and a wealthy New York City couple apparently planning a terrorist spree. Instead, a Good Morning America journalist referred to the investigation as a "preppy terror case."
The New York Post on Monday reported that Morgan Gliedman and her boyfriend, Aaron Greene, have been arrested after a vast number of guns, bombs and the "Terrorist Encyclopedia" were found in their home. According to the Post, the two are "the privileged daughter of a prominent city doctor, and...a Harvard grad and Occupy Wall Street activist." Yet, GMA reporter John Muller simply described, "She is from a prominent family on New York's ritzy upper east side. He is a Harvard graduate."
Earlier, we documented journalists' most partisan potshots against the Romney-Ryan ticket, as well as the most effusive "Obamagasms" of the preceding twelve months. Today, some of the most infuriating and/or wacky quotes of 2012, including the ridiculous entry that was chosen by our esteemed panel of 46 judges as the most outrageous "Quote of the Year."
ABC journalist Brian Ross, who on July 20 smeared the Tea Party as connected to a mass killing in Colorado, on Tuesday described the racist views of another shooter and his connection to Nazi, "right-wing" groups.
After explaining Wade Page's links to violent, bigoted groups, Good Morning America co-host George Stephanopoulos wondered how this murderer could have purchased a gun, Ross insisted that the FBI did not have "enough evidence to open a full field investigation because of his links to these right-wing, neo-Nazi groups." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]
Within hours of the horrible massacre at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, liberal reporters hijacked the tragedy to advance their anti-gun rights agenda. As they did in the wake of school shootings like Columbine (Back in 2000 the MRC documented, stories advocating gun control outnumbered those in favor of gun rights by a 10 to 1 ratio), the media were quick to heap blame on the NRA and Second Amendment supporters in their quest for more restrictions on guns.
On the very day of the Aurora shooting Time’sMichael Grunwald justified the oncoming push for gun control by the media when he pronounced: “There is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy....Gun control and the Second Amendment are issues, too, and now seems like a pretty good time to talk about them.” (videos after the jump)
Our friends at MRCTV have a great new video that goes through a short history of the liberal media's penchant for hastily laying the blame for spree shootings and other violent attacks on conservatives. Yet time after time, when all the facts came out, we learned that it was anything but conservatives behind each and every incident. Of course, by the time all the facts came out, the media spin and speculation had already sowed the seeds of misinformation. As is to be expected, some of the worst offenders were MSNBC talent like Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz.
My personal favorite of the ones that narrator Dan Joseph recounts is the media's rush in 2009 to speculate that suicidal U.S. Census worker Bill Sparkman was murdered by some anti-government extremists -- whipped up no doubt by the Tea Party movement -- when in fact it turns out Sparkman staged the scene of his hanging to look that way. You can watch the full video in the embed that follows the page break.
According to ABC News president Ben Sherwood, ABC’s coverage of last Friday’s Colorado theater shooting was "excellent," aside from, you know, investigative reporter Brian Ross hastily suggesting that the shooter, James Holmes, could possibly be a member of the Tea Party. It was discovered later that the Tea Party member James Holmes was a 50-something Hispanic man, not the 24-year-old neuroscience student charged with the crime.
As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross on Friday falsely accused a Tea Party member of being the "James Holmes" that orchestrated the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.
On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru said Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos shares some of the blame for not challenging Ross about his "awfully thin" assertion (video follows with transcript and commentary):
As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross, during a Good Morning America segment with co-host George Stephanopoulos, wrongly accused a Tea Party member of being Friday's Aurora, Colorado, mass murderer.
Later that day, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said, "If ABC News corporate had an ounce of integrity it would fire both of them right now" (video follows courtesy Right Scoop with transcript and commentary):
ABC’s Brian Ross's disgusting attempt to link Friday morning’s tragic shooting to a Tea Party member is just the latest example of the liberal media’s knee jerk reaction to impugn conservatives in the immediate wake of horrific crimes. After the shooting of former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords liberal reporters were quick to condemn the Tea Party and conservatives like Sarah Palin and Mark Levin.
Just two hours after the attack on Giffords, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pulled a similar Brian Ross-like assumption without the facts when he wrote in a January 8, 2011 blog that “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before....Her father says that ‘the whole Tea Party’ was her enemy.” During MSNBC’s live coverage of the Giffords shooting Luke Russert blamed Obamacare opponents when he theorized: “Remember, this is the deepest fear that was in the back of everybody's mind going through the health care debate. A lot of members were threatened...It looks sadly like it's come to fruition today." (quote compilation and videos after the jump)
Three hours after reporter Brian Ross attempted to connect a mass killing in Colorado to the Tea Party, ABC News admitted that the story on Good Morning America was "incorrect." The retraction was added to the top of an existing online article about the murders.
The story conceded, "An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect." [Update: Ross has now admitted his error on live ABC coverage. See video and more updates below.]
[Developing -- Updates and video after the jump. MP3 audio here.] Hours after mass murder at a 12am showing of the new Batman film, ABC News reporter Brian Ross went on Good Morning America and speculated that the killer could be a Tea Party member.
Ross appeared Friday morning during live coverage and told viewers, "There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well. Talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don't know if this the same Jim Holmes." Co-host George Stephanopoulos eagerly touted Ross' accusations: "You've been looking- investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You've found something that might be significant."