Yesterday, ABC’s Good Morning America had a segment in which George Stephanopoulos and Brian Ross were speaking about the shooting that took place in Aurora, CO when Ross suggested that the shooter might be connected to the Tea Party since there was a James Holmes that had posted an event for the Colorado Tea Party. The entire thing was reminiscent of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting and the blame being placed on people like Sarah Palin. Well, ABC apologized….sort of.
The original exchange went like this:
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.
It’s funny that they would be looking to a Tea Party page for answers to this story. In fact, if one wasn’t feeling especially “conspiracy theory”, one would think this was almost planned. I’m not saying it was, but one might think that.
However the page in question was a post by a James Holmes that was not the same person that opened fire in the theater. In fact, the real James Michael Holmes is a 52-year-old Hispanic Tea Party member who was shocked to learn that that he was the one being point to. In an interview with Breitbart.com, Holmes said “It was freaky.”
However, the damgage was done. Can anyone else smell a lawsuit coming?
So what did ABC do? How did they respond to their obvious blunder? They corrected their initial report tried to blame “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.
Say it ain’t so ABC! You mean there were other residents in Aurora, Colorado with the name James Holmes? I’m shocked!
Social media was not to blame for Ross speculating that James Holmes of the Colorado Tea Party was in fact the shooter. Ross alone was to blame for that. Later the ABC report was updated again and this time both ABC News and Brian Ross apologized for the ridiculous speculation.
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.
Holmes became disillusioned with the Republican Party and found like minded Americans in the Tea party. ABC was simply disillusioned by their own politics.