I was raised in the South, where my parents taught me never to call people unfair names or to jump to unsupported negative conclusions. Where I’m from, the most cutting thing you usually say about someone is, “Bless his heart.” That’s universal Southern code for “I can’t think of anything nice to say, so…bless his heart.”
So you can understand just how firm a footing I believe I’m on when I report that ABC has suspended “reporter” Brian Ross for four weeks without pay, and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving, reckless feeble excuse for a journalist…bless his heart.
On Friday, Ross rushed to the airwaves to report a “bulletin” from a confidential source: Former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn had cut a deal to testify that then-candidate Donald Trump ordered him to contact the Russians. It was such a shocking blockbuster that it sent the Dow plunging 350 points and even brought Joy Behar out of the depressed funk she’s been in ever since Election Night 2016, as she giddily chanted to “The View” audience, “You’re going to jail! And you’re going to jail!” etc. Collusion finally proved! Impeach! Impeach!!
One teeny-tiny problem: a few hours later, ABC issued what it called a “clarification.” It didn’t happen when Trump was a candidate, but after he was already President-elect, when contacting the Russians was Flynn’s job and Trump ordering him to do it was standard operating procedure (and why is a probe created to look into the election probing the post-election anyway?) The very fact that ABC called that a “clarification” instead of a “massive retraction” shows just how badly Ross blew it and how damaging it was. That’s not just having to eat crow, that’s like swallowing a buzzard whole with a Dixie cup full of water. If Trump ever wanted proof of the media being so biased against him that they would manufacture “fake news” to harm him, then here it was written 30 feet high in neon. He even tweeted that investors who lost money in the market plunge should sue ABC (I’m not a lawyer so I don’t know if that’s possible, but it could be part of why ABC soft-pedaled that major face-plant as a “clarification.”)
But why am I being so hard on Brian Ross? After all, I’ve often said that I don’t hold honest mistakes against people if they admit them and try to make good. But Ross is a serial reckless, biased hack. He’s the same misreporter who claimed that the Colorado movie theater mass killer was tied to the Tea Party, another fake news story that slandered innocent Tea Party members. READ MORE.
Full disclosure: I’ve personally been a victim of his biased, reckless reporting and rush to air without checking the facts. During my first Presidential run, he tried to tie me to clemencies for prison inmates that I had nothing to do with.
Ross has been suspended without pay for four weeks, but a permanent suspension without pay would be a more appropriate response. Either that, or make him personally pay back all the investors’ stock market losses. Or the worst punishment of all: let him be the one to go to Joy Behar and tell her, “Uh, remember that ‘Trump is finished’ story I reported? Never mind…”
When she’s through with him, we’ll all be saying, “Bless his heart…”
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