In Ironic Twist, ABC Attacks Alleged Leaker of 'Makes Me Sick' Email

Those at ABC News are certainly fans of leakers who give them scoops. But when the leaker is in their midst, the attitude is reversed. Someone leaked to Matt Drudge an email from John Green, an executive producer for the weekend "Good Morning America," in which he said Bush "makes me sick." He has since been suspended for a month without pay.

Rebecca Dana writes in the New York Observer that TV news divisions have "always been tough on leakers," and the individual whom ABC suspects of leaking the email is feeling the wrath of their legal department.

Television news divisions have always been tough on leakers. Two ABC sources said that an internal investigation into the leak is believed to be ongoing, though a network spokesperson declined to comment on how hotly executives may be pursuing it.

Early suspicions focused on what a number of blogs and The Washington Post called a “disgruntled former employee” of weekend Good Morning America—a man who had a well-known beef with Mr. Green and who was dismissed two weeks before the e-mails surfaced.

Contacted by telephone, that man—though he was indeed disgruntled—vehemently denied any part in the leaking.

He said he’d received a phone call at 4:10 a.m. the day after the Drudge leak, at the house that he shares with his mother. By his account, the voice on the other end said only “We know you’ve been talking to Matt Drudge—you’re the source,” and then hung up. The former employee said he has asked Verizon to trace the call and is now going through “legal maneuvers” to acquire the number.

In the weeks that followed, the man’s name has flown around television and other journalism circles without actually being printed anywhere. The man said he received a letter on April 7 from ABC’s legal department, reminding him of the network’s privacy policy and asking him to return confidential e-mails, audiotapes and other documents.