Accuracy in Media

When the president of the United States calls a celebrity musician a “jackass,” that’s news, even if it occurs in an “off the record” conversation. So why is ABC News apologizing for breaking the news on Twitter?

President Barack Obama called hip-hop musician Kanye West a “jackass” on Monday in an off-the-record comment during an interview with CNBC, an ABC News anchor reported on Twitter. …

“Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential,” “Nightline” co-anchor Terry Moran wrote Monday evening to his more than 1 million followers.

The tweet forced the network to issue an apology after the Internet quickly became abuzz over the stunning remark published on the microblogging site.

An ABC spokesperson said, “In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview,” Politico reported. “This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologize to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again.”

Moran’s tweet has since been deleted.

My question was rhetorical. Everyone knows that ABC apologized because it’s never OK for the liberal media to embarrass the president it helped elect. Rest assured that ABC would not have apologized for exposing any off-the-record comments by President Bush.




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