Disgraced ABC “journalist” Brian Ross is now attacking those who think a case can be made that the Obama administration ordered surveillance of political opponents. Ross has a long history of shoddy sourcing, outright fabrications, and all around cringeworthy reporting. This time he has set his sights on Conservative Review Editor-in-Chief Mark Levin. This is not going to end well for the Dan Rather of ABC news.
On ABC News’ “This Week” Ross had this to day about Levin, moments before playing a video clip of Levin discussing the brewing scandal.
Levin, who was chief of staff to Ed Meese at the Justice Department, took to Facebook to hit back at Ross.
When there’s breaking news, especially about terrorism and national security, ABC News’ Brian Ross is there. And under no circumstances should you listen to anything he says. His latest breathtakingly reckless report: Some Tea Party guy on the internet has the same name as the Dark Knight Rises shooter, so, you know, they have the same name. So there you go. Tea Party.
As Mediaite has noted, not long after authorities released the shooter’s incredibly common name, James Holmes, Ross ran it through his extensive network of plugged-in sources (Google) and came up with this nugget, which he relayed, live on the air, to Good Morning America’s millions and millions of viewers:
Ouch. Biased much?
Both ABC News, and Ross had to apologize for the gaffetastic rush to blame the Tea Party.
As Gawker pointed out, this isn’t Ross’ only bit of less-than-truthful reporting.
Talk about conspiracy theories. In 2001, Ross reported that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were behind the string of anthrax mailings in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Ross said that he had three sources on some days, and four sources on others, according to Salon.
Back in 2010 there were reports that Toyota cars were losing control on the highway. That’s when ABC did an “investigative piece” on the reports. You may remember that ABC News staged footage of a Toyota going completely out of control? Yep, you guessed it, that was Ross too.
Brian Ross, America’s Wrongest Reporter, has been credited with owning the Toyota recall story, including one memorable report with Ross behind the wheel of an out-of-control car. He did it by splicing in staged footage to make it look scarier.
Toyata demanded a retraction.
Then there was the time that Ross claimed a former Guantanamo Bay prisoner masterminded the underwear bombing. Well, after people pointed out that the jihadi in question was actually in Saudi custody, which Gawker pointed out was easily found in an AP story, Ross had to publish a retraction.
ABCNews.com reported Monday in error that former Guantanamo prisoner #333, Muhamad Attik al-Harbi, was one of four leaders of the al Qaeda group which claimed responsibility for the attempted bombing.
Al-Harbi appeared in a propaganda tape released by the group in January 2009. According to published reports, he surrendered to Saudi security forces one month later in February 2009, well before the August arrival in Yemen of accused underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
Those are just a few of Ross’ greatest hits. When even Gawker, that bastion of defamatory reporting, calls you ‘America’s Worst Reporter,” you know you’ve hit rock bottom. Maybe getting your own house in order before throwing shade would be Ross’ best course of action.
Editor’s note: This article was updated to reflect the fact that Brian Ross is still a journalist at ABC News.
Robert Eno is the director of research for Conservative Review. He is a conservative from deep blue Massachusetts but now lives in Greenville, SC.