Accuracy in Media

The shooting in Aurora, Colorado earlier this morning was a tragedy, but ABC sought to make a political statement by tying the shooter to the Tea Party.

While discussing the shooting, Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos brought on Brian Ross to discuss a potentially significant discovery in the background of the shooter, James Holmes.

There is 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.

That was significant? All Ross did was search the Internet and stumbled across a Colorado Tea Party site, where there just happened to be a James Holmes listed and decided that this might be the same person as the shooter. No other background checks, just the Tea Party site. Would he have gone on the air and made such a baseless connection if he would have discovered a James Holmes, knowing nothing else about him, who was with the NAACP, Occupy Wall Street or the Democratic Party? Of course not.

After it was pointed out that Ross’ story was inaccurate, ABC issued an apology.

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.

You don’t say. The James Holmes who committed this heinous act is 24-years old, and the James Holmes on the Colorado Tea Party Patriots website is 52-years old. How does a veteran investigative reporter like Brian Ross make a mistake of this magnitude? And how did ABC allow this to happen?

Ross and ABC were just a little too overzealous in their attempt to link this murder to the Tea Party, and should be ashamed of themselves for trying to politicize what really is  a tragic incident.

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