Good Morning America

By Noel Sheppard | July 21, 2012 | 3:30 PM EDT

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.

"Jim" Holmes during an interview with the Daily Caller had some harsh words for his accuser saying, "What kind of idiot makes that kind of statement?”

By Tom Blumer | July 21, 2012 | 8:46 AM EDT

Brian Ross is not the only blameworthy party in the irresponsible smear of a 52 year-old Tea Party activist as the possible perpetrator of the Aurora, Colorado theater massacre early Friday. Everyone on the set of ABC's Good Morning America could have said "wait, this is premature and irresponsible" -- and didn't.

GMA co-host and former Bill Clinton advisor George Stephanopoulos's response to Ross's identification of 52 year-old "Jim Holmes" as perhaps the same "James Holmes" who had been arrested earlier that morning arguably added legitimacy to Ross's speculation: "OK, we'll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much." As if they would actually find more of a tie-in, which of course they didnt. In his column yesterday, the underappreciated John Kass at the Chicago Tribune succinctly described Stephanopoulos's likely mindset, as well as how ABC was originally hoping to blame "social media" for Ross's GMA team-assisted smear (bolds are mine):

By Brent Bozell | July 20, 2012 | 5:56 PM EDT

This morning, in the aftermath of the unspeakable Colorado massacre that claimed at least 12 innocent American lives and injured dozens more, ABC "news" investigative reporter Brian Ross appeared on ABC's Good Morning America and made the outrageous, irresponsible, and completely unfounded claim that the alleged gunman, 24-year-old Jim Holmes, is a member of the Tea Party. Apparently Ross has learned absolutely nothing from the media's disgraceful rush to judgment and dissemination of misinformation following the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in January 2011.
 
That's twice now that the "news" media have falsely implicated the Tea Party in murder.

By Geoffrey Dickens | July 20, 2012 | 1:28 PM EDT

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)

By Scott Whitlock | July 20, 2012 | 11:39 AM EDT

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.]

By Scott Whitlock | July 20, 2012 | 9:26 AM EDT

[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."

By Scott Whitlock | July 19, 2012 | 12:29 PM EDT

Good Morning America co-host Robin Roberts, who has conducted a number of fawning interviews with Barack and Michelle Obama, pushed Ann Romney in an exclusive interview on Thursday to release more tax documents. She needled, "Your husband has been adamant about only the two years that will be released. Why will he not follow the example of others on both sides of the aisle?"

After Mrs. Romney reiterated that her husband wouldn't release more than two years and that they had nothing to hide, Roberts hectored, "Why not show that then? Why not release the- because then it's a moot point and people move on." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | July 18, 2012 | 12:18 PM EDT

All three evening newscasts on Tuesday and two out of the three morning shows on Wednesday skipped the dramatic story of an elderly Florida man who saved a cafe full of people from gun-wielding robbers. Only Good Morning America covered the story of seventy-one-year-old Samuel Williams using his own weapon to fend off attackers.

News reader Josh Elliot lauded the "gun-toting senior citizen" for his quick action and for "not taking it anymore." Co-host George Stephanopoulos narrated the video: "There he is right there. Takes them on. Saves the whole cafe." Elliott praised it as "remarkable." He misleadingly described, "Williams does have a gun license and is not expected to be charged." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | July 17, 2012 | 4:03 PM EDT

All three networks on Tuesday absolutely gushed over Barack Obama kissing his wife at a men's Olympic basketball game on Monday night. CBS This Morning guest anchor Norah O'Donnell thrilled, "Whoo-hoo-hoo! Hot in here!" Good Morning America news reader Josh Elliott cheered on the President's ability to kiss his wife in public: "[Obama] is showing the world he's got a little game off the court as well!" [See a video montage below. MP3 audio here.]

Today's Natalie Morales recounted how the President, after being spotted by the Kiss Cam, at first refused to kiss Mrs. Obama. Morales hyped, "...They got a second chance when the "Kiss Cam" found them again. So this time he delivered, planting a very presidential pucker on the First Lady and the crowd went wild." Weatherman Al Roker joked, "Mr. President, get a stadium."

By Scott Whitlock | July 17, 2012 | 11:50 AM EDT

ABC on Sunday aggressively pushed liberal talking points, hyping Barack Obama's call for Mitt Romney to release more tax documents. Over a span of just three minutes and 32 seconds, the anchor and reporters of World News played nine clips of people lobbying Mitt Romney to "show the American people" what's going on. Only one person, the candidate, appeared in a snippet to argue for the other side.

David Kerley played a montage of Democratic operatives Stephanie Cutter, Rahm Emanuel and David Axelrod. They berated Romney: "Show us. Show the American people....[Romney] can clear this up. Just make it public...We don't know all the loopholes he might have taken advantage of." Analyst Rick Klein gloated, "Mitt Romney's work at Bain was supposed to be his biggest strength. And the Obama campaign has made it into, perhaps, his biggest weakness." [See video below. MP3 audio here.]

By Scott Whitlock | July 16, 2012 | 11:59 AM EDT

Good Morning America on Monday hyped the liberal "barrage" on Bain Capital and the push to get Mitt Romney to release more tax records. Over the span of three minutes, ABC featured Barack Obama's attacks three separate times for 35 seconds. Reporter Jake Tapper showcased two more right-leaning talking heads chiding Romney. That's a total of five voices piling on the candidate. Only a single clip of conservative Mary Matalin appeared as a rebuttal.

Former Democratic operative turned journalist George Stephanopoulos probed for weakness from Romney, telling Tapper that "conservatives like George Will, Bill Kristol" are "saying he has to do more on these tax returns. You sensing any give on the Romney team?" Informed by Tapper that only the last two years will be released, Stephanopoulos lamented, "But no more than those first two years?"

By Scott Whitlock | July 13, 2012 | 12:11 PM EDT

Occupy violence erupted in Los Angeles on Thursday with protesters using slogans such as "Kill the cops." NBC skipped the story on Friday's Today. CBS This Morning and ABC's Good Morning America offered a combined 31 seconds.

GMA news reader Amy Robach explained that police had to break up a crowd of "200 angry protesters." She briefly added, "It started when Occupy L.A. activists joined a street art event and then taunted police by drawing chalk pigs and slogans like 'Kill the cops.'" One police officer was injured and a dozen people were arrested. CBS This Morning offered even less information, allowing a mere seven seconds out of two hours.