Published On: Sun, Dec 3rd, 2017

Fake News: ABC suspends Brian Ross over bogus Michael Flynn, Trump, Russia story

ABC News has suspended, Brian Ross, their chief investigative correspondent, for four weeks without pay after incorrectly reporting that former NSA director Michael Flynn would testify that President Trump had directed him to make contact with Russian officials during the 2016 Presidential campaign.

ABC initially issued a clarification after Ross made the statement during a live broadcast on Friday but later called it a correction.

photo/ Gerd Altmann via pixabay

The network’s tweet about the claim was shared more than 25,000 times before ABC deleted it, according to The Washington Post. The Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 300 points following Ross’ report.

“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday,” ABC said in a statement on Saturday. “The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.”

ABC said the source later clarified that Trump’s request to Flynn during the campaign had been to find ways to repair relations with Russia. The directive to contact Russian officials on topics that included working together against the Islamic State came after the election.

“It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience — these are our core principles,” the ABC statement said. “We fell far short of that yesterday.”

Trump used Twitter to praise the network for suspending Ross, calling his report “horrendously inaccurate and dishonest.” The president ended his tweet by referring to “Fake News.”

“This error plays right into the hands of people who callously try to say that news media all just lie,” Kathleen Culver, the director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison said in an interview on Saturday night. “This is the kind of thing you can see being brought up again and again and again at appearances by the president, where he will take one situation in which something was wrong, and blow that out into a condemnation that all news media are fake.”

Ari Fleischer, who served as press secretary for President George W. Bush, wrote on Twitter that the error was the latest in a series of high-profile mistakes by Ross.

“I explicitly told ABC News not to go with the anthrax story because it was wrong,” Fleischer wrote, in reference to a 2001 report in which he said Ross inaccurately linked Iraq and its dictator Saddam Hussein to an anthrax attack on the United States. “Brian Ross went with it anyway.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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