As NewsBusters reported over the weekend, ABC News did a deplorable job of informing viewers about a death threat made by a Tucson shooting survivor to a Tea Partier at the taping of a town hall event aired on Sunday's "This Week."
On Monday, Glenn Beck and his radio crew savaged Christiane Amanpour for her involvement in this fiasco while concluding, "That lack of truth is why places like ABC will eventually just go out of business and be looking for a handout from the government" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
GLENN BECK: Keith Olbermann says we should all listen to, cut 109 please. Here’s a victim of the shooting in Tucson. Here’s what he said.
J. ERIC FULLER: How many other people? How many other demented people are out there? It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target.
BECK: Okay. Keith Olbermann tweets right away and says, you know, we should listen to this guy because he’s a victim of the shooting. He wants to know how many demented people there are out there like this. Well, I can count one more. Cut 630.
Next, an audio clip was played of the end of Sunday's "This Week":
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, HOST OF ABC’S “THIS WEEK”: Very, very important, because it means I think that the human spirit remains alive even through tragedy. So I thank you all for joining us today. For David Muir, and from me, Christiane Amanpour, and all of us here in Tucson, thank you for sharing part of your Sunday with us, and we will see you next week.
(While tape was running, Beck sidekick Pat Gray interjected, “Oh, and by the way, just as an aside.”
AMANPOUR: As our town hall concluded, one of the victims of the shooting in our audience became agitated and was detained by security. James Eric Fuller, who was shot twice last Saturday, appeared to direct a threat towards a member of the Tea Party in our audience when he spoke. Fuller was charged with a misdemeanor and involuntarily committed. According to the Pima County sheriff’s office.
BECK: Okay, alright. So that’s really nice of you to share that. It was all on videotape. He appeared to threaten. He looked at the Tea Party members and the head of the Tea Party in Arizona who has already been warned do not show your face in public spaces now because you’re under threat. He appeared to make a threat. No, he took a picture of the Tea Party member and then pointed to him and said, “You’re dead. You’re dead.” And then was screaming something along the lines of, “What are you,” excuse the language, “bitches doing?” I believe he was taken out by two police officers, females, I’m not sure. “What are you bitches doing, what are you bitches doing?”
I don’t think that appears to be a threat. I think when a man points his finger at someone and says, “You’re dead,” I think that is a threat, Christiane Amanpour, although I don’t speak 1,400 languages and haven't, you know, eaten at the feet of sheiks and kings in the Middle East. So, what do I know?
I can’t believe this was only an aside, in an hour-long special on ABC.
PAT GRAY: Had it been the Tea Party guy who made a threat to somebody else, can you imagine?
BECK: Biggest story in the news today.
GRAY: Oh, oh my God.
BECK: “Here’s the end of the, hey, good night, everybody. (Whispering) And, by the way, somebody might have made a threat.”
I mean, what is that? What is that? That is a lack of journalism and a lack of truth that, quite honestly, that lack of truth is why places like ABC will eventually just go out of business and be looking for a handout from the government.
The idea that Amanpour and Company presented this matter as a 30 second aside at the end of their program while omitting key details was disgraceful.
As Gray pointed out, if Fuller were the Tea Partier threatening a shooting survivor, this would have been front page, headline news the past 48 hours.
As Fox News's Sean Hannity has been saying for months, journalism is dead.