George Stephanopoulos and Brian Ross of ABC News Commit Journalistic Malpractice; Update: ABC’s Weak Apology


As you know, a murderer killed at least 12 people at a Colorado movie theater last night.

ABC News was just itching for a right wing connection, even if it meant finding one of the many people named “James Holmes” in the Denver area who happens to have a Tea Party connection even though they didn’t know for sure if it was the murderer. Mission accomplished:

Stephanolpoulos: I’m going to go to Brian Ross. You’ve been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.

Ross: 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. Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.

Stephanolpoulos: Okay, we’ll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.

Seems to me a good reporter might require more evidence than this before making a call, and Brian Ross would not have made that speculative statement if that website said “Occupy Denver” instead of “Colorado Tea Party.”

By the way, the person they were talking about was apparently the wrong guy — but what do they care as long as it helped get the meme spreading? Even if it had been the same person as the mass murderer, the fact that they went ahead with that even though they didn’t know for sure proves what a cesspool of bias exists in the mainstream media — specifically ABC News in this instance.

Journalistic malpractice at the very least:

And than we have people with political agendas this jackwagon using the killings to stand on their soapboxes — but that’s for another day.


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. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.

Oh bull. The “report” (if we can call it that) was correct — yes, that particular Jim Holmes might have indeed been the gunman… and thousands of other Jim Holmes’ might have been too. It was flat-out bias and there was nothing “oops, we made an error” about it. If ABC would have reported that this Jim Holmes was in fact the mass murderer, and that turned out to be wrong — that would have been a “mistake.” The fact that they were faced with over a dozen “Jim Holmes” in Colorado and just happened to pick the one with Tea Party ties as one who “might but might not be” the gunman is one of the bigger cases of MSM bias in a while.

In the title to this post I used the term “malpractice,” but that doesn’t accurately describe what happened. “Malpractice” is often due to a mistake, and there was no mistake about what Steffy and Ross did.

Update II: Hey Ross & Steffy, here’s your 55 year old Tea Partier.

Update III: The Jim Holmes of the Tea Party Patriots that Brian Ross mentioned on the air has had to disconnect his phone thanks to lefty loons calling (and if that’s the worst thing that happens I’ll be surprised).

Well done, ABC News — I hope he sues your asses off and wins.

Update IV: Here’s a revised ABC News logo.

Author: Doug Powers

Doug Powers is a writer, editor and commentator covering news of the day from a conservative viewpoint with an occasional shot of irreverence and a chaser of snark. Townhall Media writer/editor. alum. Bowling novice. Long-suffering Detroit Lions fan. Contact: