Joel B. Pollak
Friday, July 20, 2012
On Good Morning America, ABC News’ Brian Ross and George Stephanolpoulos suggested that the Tea Party might be connected to the mass shootings early this morning in an Aurora, CO theater during a screening of the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. The mainstream media attempted to blame the Tea Party for the Tuscon shootings in January 2011, shortly after Republicans swept the midterm elections. Now, in the critical 2012 elections, the mainstream media seems poised to do the same–and ABC News has led the way.
Here is the exchange between ABC News chief investigator Brian Ross and host George Stephanopoulos about apparent suspect James Holmes:
Stephanolpoulos: I’m going to go to Brian Ross. You’ve been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.
Ross: There’s 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.
Stephanolpoulos: Okay, we’ll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.
How interesting that Ross and ABC News should think to look to the Tea Party website first–and to broadcast politically volatile information without verifying if that “Jim Holmes” is the same as the suspect.
The “Jim Holmes” page on the Colorado Tea Party website is advertising an event with Middle East commentator Brigitte Gabriel next Thursday, July 26–hardly the behavior of a man who expected to be committing a deadly crime on July 20 for which he would certainly be apprehended and might not survive.
Look for more scapegoating from the mainstream media and the Democrats in the hours and days to follow.
UPDATE: The James Holmes arrested at the Aurora theater was 24 years old and seems to be from Denver, CO, according to a Facebook profile (a similar Facebook profile linked by a local news reporter has not been confirmed as the suspect’s profile, either). There are many people with the name “James Holmes” in the area, and the James Homes on the Tea Party website could match a James Homes from Aurora, CO who is in his fifties and therefore does not fit the description of the suspect. More evidence that Ross, Stephanolpoulos and ABC rushed to blame the Tea Party without confirmation that the suspect is also the Tea Party member.
UPDATE: When ABC News corrected its initial report, it tried to spread the blame around to “social media” and “members of the public”:
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. Several other local residents with similar names were also contacted via social media by members of the public who mistook them for the suspect.
It has since issued a more straightforward 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.
This article was posted: Friday, July 20, 2012 at 9:05 am