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Monday, December 04, 2017

UPDATE: Credit Trump for Ross suspension

See update below.

ORIGINAL POST: The impossible happened. After years of Brian Ross reporting Fake News, ABC News finally suspended him -- for four weeks without pay.

Credit President Trump for the suspension.

Over his 45-year career, Ross has won six George Polk Awards, six Peabody Awards, and two Emmy Awards.

He is a terrible reporter.

From Politico:
In 2006, Ross reported that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was a target in the federal corruption investigation involving then-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. After the Justice Department denied the story, Ross stood by his reporting and stated that Hastert was ‘very much in the mix’ of the probe, despite the fact that Hastert had never been approached by prosecutors.
In 2007, Ross accepted a claim by former CIA agent John Kiriakou that 35 seconds of waterboarding had led suspected terrorist Abu Zubaydah to disclose terrorist plots to the CIA. Despite the fact that Kirakou was not present at Zubayadah’s interrogation, the claim was repeated for days by other networks and newspapers and used as evidence for advocates of the waterboarding technique. A year and a half later, a Justice Department memo would show that Zubayadah had undergone waterboarding “at least 83 times.”
In 2010, Ross reported that a defect in Toyota cars was responsible for “unintended acceleration.” As part of his report, he showed video footage of the Toyota’s tachometer going from 1,000 RPMs to 6,000 RPMs in a single second. But the same footage revealed that the car was actually parked with the doors open when Ross claimed it was moving. ABC News confirmed that the stage footage had been spliced into Ross’s video.
For six years, Ross also oversaw ABC News consultant Alexis Debat, the self-proclaimed counterterrorism expert who was forced to resign after it was revealed that he had misrepresented himself on his resume and faked an interview with then-Senator Barack Obama.
Glenn Greenwald, the lawyer and Salon columnist who has been one of Ross’s fiercest critics over the years, argues that the ABC reporter is driven by a penchant for sensationalism.
“Brian Ross is responsible for several of the establishment media’s most shameful and reckless journalistic falsehoods of the last decade,” Greenwald told Politico. “His reporting philosophy seems to be to go on TV and say whatever he thinks will garner attention and create ‘scoops,’ without the slightest concern for whether it’s actually true.”
Then there was the infamous 2012 incident in which he said the Aurora, Colorado, shooter was a member of the tea party.

"We all make mistakes" doesn't cut it.

But for the past decade he has gotten away with it.

No more.

Not on President Trump's watch.

The unprecedented, unwarranted, and unceasing attacks on Donald Trump are something never witnessed before for an incoming president. Even Richard Nixon had newspapers who supported him to the end.

President Trump has fought back and called his attackers out as Fake News, leaving CNN to sob, "We are not Fake News."

The credibility of the press is melting like the Wicked Witch in a rainstorm.

This weekend, we witnessed the media finally reining in and punishing one of its own not for sexual harassment but for incompetence.

From CNN (hey, Drudge linked it):
ABC News announced Saturday that it has suspended investigative reporter Brian Ross for four weeks without pay after Ross was forced to correct a bombshell on-air report about Michael Flynn.
"We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. 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. "As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online."
"It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience -- these are our core principles," the statement added. "We fell far short of that yesterday."
Citing a single anonymous source, Ross told viewers during an ABC special report on Friday morning that Flynn was prepared to testify that Donald Trump, as a candidate for president, told him to contact Russians.
During Friday's edition of "World News Tonight," Ross walked back his report, telling viewers that the source who had provided the initial information for his story later told him that it was as president-elect, not as a candidate, that Trump asked Flynn to contact Russians.
An ABC News tweet about the report was retweeted about 25,000 times before being deleted.
Ross is 69.

Time to retire.

UPDATE: I originally posted this on Saturday night at 8 Eastern.

Since then, CNN reported, "ABC News president James Goldston excoriated staff Monday over Brian Ross' major error on a report about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and announced that Ross, the network's chief investigative reporter, will no longer cover stories related to President Trump."

That is a significant move. Not only is an ace reporter kicked off the network for four weeks, but he is banned from covering the most important story in the nation.

Goldston's explanation proved my point:
"I don't think ever in my career have I felt more rage and disappointment and frustration that I felt through this weekend and through the last half of Friday.
"I don't even know how many times we've talked about this, how many times we have talked about the need to get it right. That how we have to be right and not first. About how in this particular moment, with the stakes as high as these stakes are right now, we cannot afford to get it wrong."
They got away with sloppiness for decades.

Now Trump is forcing them to clean up their act -- at least at ABC News.

Lazy reporting no longer cuts it. And the press should thank Donald Trump for doing this, because if the press is as vital to a democratic republic as journalists say it is, then forcing journalists to be truthful and honest is a great gift to this nation.

I nominate Donald Trump for the 2018 Pulitzer for public service.

Make Journalism Great Again.


Please enjoy my two books about the press and how it missed the rise of Donald Trump.

The first was "Trump the Press," which covered his nomination.

The second was "Trump the Establishment," which covered his election.

To order autographed copies, write

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As always, Make America Great Again.


  1. Age has little to do with it. Habitual bias has a lot to do with it.

  2. A four week suspension without pay is pretty drastic punishment. There must be a lot more to this behind the scenes than we can glean from the announcement by the network.

    1. Brian Ross caused a flash crash on the stock market with false report. ABC News's legal is probably sweating from possibility of class action lawsuit against them for market manipulation.

    2. Vinnie "the batswinger" is checking videos of Ross' kneecaps. Da Boss doesn't like losing a bunch of laundered money in a stock "correction."

    3. A four week suspension without pay is pretty drastic punishment for someone living paycheck to paycheck and no paod time off.
      A guy like Ross who earns millions each year (to lie to us) with plenty of paid vacation is not worried about his December vacation in the least.

    4. He basically got a free Christmas vacation. He makes multiple millions of dollars a year and has done so for decades.

      This isn't punishment, it's a reward.

    5. Not even a slap on the wrist; merely a finger shaken at him.

  3. I would love to see a class action lawsuit against ABC and Ross for the losses sustained by investors (a 350 point drop when he made his announcement). Actions have consequences.

  4. I don't think Ross is incompetent. He probably has dirt on the necessary bosses above him to get by with this slap of the wrist and just keep on lying his ass off. Too bad he didn't look cross eyed at an intern or we might be rid of him for good.

  5. This is yuge. I hope you post on it tommorow.

  6. “We all make mistakes" doesn't cut it.”

    We don’t expect perfection.

    Just a dang sight less IM-perfection.

  7. "A lie gets halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes." -- Mark Twain

    Most of us believe that's a sad statement on the human condition.

    Leftists think it's a "how to" manual.

  8. Brian, they're sending you a message. Brian? Brian?? Earth calling Brian...

    1. The question is, What is the message? This was no slap on the wrist. I have to believe that someone in the executive suites at ABC wants Ross out of there, and this was the perfect excuse to signal him that his contract won't be renewed when the time comes.

  9. I am amazed that no one in the "MSM" has called these attacks on Pres Trump for what it is.... bullying... on a grand scale. People commit suicide for attacks less than these, people leave work and often never work again after they get PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from constant and sustained abuse.
    Thank God that Pres Trump is incredibly mentally strong, focussed, and has yuuge self esteem, or he would by now be in the hospital. How much more can he take? CDM

  10. Layers and layers of fact checkers... - GOC

  11. "That is a significant move. Not only is an ace reporter kicked off the network for four weeks, but he is banned from covering the most important story in the nation."

    See, it was not the slap on the wrist so many commenters claimed it to be.

  12. Turn them from repeaters to reporters? I doubt it. On any campus, the majors with the lowest ACT scores are journalism and teaching. They never had to learn the craft like Don had to.

  13. PRESIDENT Trump. The gift that keeps on giving. MAGA. - Elric

  14. Took a deer in to be processed and stopped for a meal at a local restaurant. One of the boys working in the kitchen was open carrying.

    God bless America.

  15. I've been noticing a few more open carriers lately. The interesting exercise is spotting the concealed carriers. Situational awareness. - Elric

  16. Lawsuits with SEC and FCC as investigators for the plaintiffs who lost money on the sell order trips. Very serious business costing private citizens and funds millions. Legal explained this to the Goldston. The legal division of Disney (parent company of ABC) is very, very good.

  17. Journalism is a profession. News is a business.

    We need more journalists and fewer newspeople.