On July 20, 2012, ABC News and lyin’ Brian Ross was forced to apologize for a gross error he made in his zeal to tie the tea party to a mass shooting in Aurora, CO.
As the name of the suspect, identified as 24-year-old James Holmes, first emerged Friday morning, Ross reported on ABC News that he’d found a web page for a “Jim Holmes” on a Colorado Tea Party site.
Here a transcript of the discussion on live television between George Stephanopoulos and ABC News’ lyin’ Brian Ross:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: I want to go to Brian Ross here, because, Brian, you’ve been looking- investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You’ve found something that might be significant.
BRIAN ROSS: 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 the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Okay, we’ll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.
After Lyin’ Brian Ross’ unsubstantiated and completely bogus report about the identity of a man who just shot and killed several people, that could have put the life of tea party member Jim Holmes in danger, Ross simply apologized.
Fox News– That man is not the same Jim Holmes. The Colorado Tea Party Patriots, whose website Ross was looking at, put out a statement criticizing Ross for even floating the possibility — noting the Jim Holmes with the Tea Party group is 52 years old and not the same person.
“The attempts of some media organizations to characterize the shooter as a Tea Party member without having made any effort to contact our organization are shameless and reprehensible,” the group said in a statement.
Ross clarified on air Friday, as ABC News issued a formal 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,” the statement said.
On air later in the morning, Ross also said: “An earlier report that I had was incorrect that he was connected with the Tea Party. In fact, that’s a different Jim Holmes. He was not connected to the Tea Party and what we do know about him is he is a 24-year-old white male who went to Colorado for a Ph.D.
Here’s Lyin’ Brian Ross’ apology after he got caught reporting fake news about the Michael Flynn’s meeting with the Russian Ambassador while President Trump was a “candidate”.