ABC News journalist Brian Ross incorrectly reported on Friday that former national security adviser Michael Flynn would testify that President Donald Trump told him to contact Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. The network later issued the important correction that Trump instructed Flynn to reach out to Russian officials once he was president-elect.
What else should I know about Brian Ross?
Ross has been under fire for inaccurate reports in the past. In 2001, Ross linked Iraq and then-dictator Saddam Hussein to an anthrax attack in the U.S., something that former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says was inaccurate. Five years ago, ABC and Ross had to apologize after Ross mistakenly reported that the Aurora shooter was a Tea Party supporter.
How is ABC responding?
The network has suspended Ross for four weeks without pay, deleted its tweet with the inaccurate report and issued an apology. “The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process,” ABC said in a statement over the weekend.
“That’s one thing Ross was a little short of: evidence,” Glenn said on today’s show. “When will the media learn?” If reporters want Trump to stop talking about “fake news,” they need to stop giving us inaccurate reports.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
This is a rush transcript and may contain errors.
GLENN: So ABC, you and Brian Ross, I don’t know exactly what you were thinking. On Friday, Brian Ross, who has been an investigative correspondent for ABC for almost 25 years, reported that during the 2016 presidential campaign, Donald Trump directed Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials before the election.
The statement was incorrect. You know, something you don’t say, unless you have a lot of evidence to back it up.
Yeah, that’s the one thing Ross was a little short of, was evidence. By Friday night, Ross was on ABC World News Tonight, reading a clarification. This time, he said, Trump didn’t ask Flynn to contact Russia until after he had been elected president.
The problem with this is it affected the stock market on Friday. Because that was kind of a big deal. And it wasn’t really a clarification on World News Tonight. It was more of a let me clarify by completely changing the report.
On Saturday, ABC News apologized saying they deeply regret the serious error and suspended Ross for four weeks without pay. Twenty-three-year-old veteran reporter, he knows better than this, except he has a history of these kinds of errors.
Do you remember the movie theater shooting in 2012 in Aurora, Colorado? Do you remember?
He’s the guy who reported that the shooter, we think was a Tea Party leader.
No. No. Uh-uh. No, he wasn’t.
Naturally, President Trump gloated on Twitter about Ross’ suspension, and the mainstream media can’t stand President Trump. Despite the fact that the president is wrong, mainstream media is not all fake news.
But when will the media learn? If you want the president to stop yapping about fake news and how the media is out to get him, then you should probably stop with the sloppy reporting.
This fake news feud between President Trump and the media lasted all weekend, and it’s going to continue. I mean, are you tired of it? Because I’m really — I’m sick of it. Fake news is now a cliché. It’s a joke. It’s part of our cultural lexicon now. In these insane times, we’re being flooded with media content. When it’s difficult to know who and what to believe, shouldn’t we be doing everything in our power, especially if you’re one of the nation’s major media organizations, to try to put aside politics for two minutes and refocus on integrity?
Because character matters, and the the truth matters. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb and say the truth and character matters more than politics. Now, that’s going to get you a ratings point. And it’s not going to sell a make America Great Again Christmas cap. But maybe we should all try to make character and truth our priority, and then maybe we’ll be able to make journalism trustworthy again.