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ABC News Should Fire Brian Ross, And Other Notes On Being Terrible

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Always a-talkin' to the sourcesThere are 12 people dead and 50 injured at a movie theater in Colorado, including a baby. It's not as though you can't look into a suspect's history after a massacre and report things as they're confirmed. That's what the media should do! What the media, and every idiot on the Twitter, should not do, is first seek out a narrow angle that probably has nothing to do with crazy people going crazy -- say, "what political party is this insane person in?" -- and then get it wrong out of pure laziness. This matters. Let's shame some people. First up: ABC News should fire Brian Ross.


Here's how things went on Good Morning America, as people were just waking up to get the news about a massacre at the movie theater:

George Stephanopoulos: I want to go to Brian Ross here, because Brian you've been investigating the background of Jim Holmes and you found something that might be significant....

Brian 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.

Jesus fucking Christ on a hotplate. Brian Ross and his BLOTTER INVESTIGATIVE TEAM googled for a few minutes and didn't bother trying to confirm anything and wow, huh, look at that, he was wrong.

Editor's Note: 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.

Tea Party people on the Internet are furious over this, and they have every right to be, because it's an egregious, early error that will color the impressions of people no matter how frequently or aggressively it's retracted. Can Brian Ross! Put him in the goddamn street. He is constantly wrong, at reporting on national television.

Breitbart.com has been busy hammering ABC News all morning, but not so much that it didn't have time to post its own typically shitty false reporting as well. We'd call for a firing at Breitbart.com, but it is wrong about every story, and so... they get away with it? Ha ha, incentives. EXCLUSIVE:

James Holmes, the suspect arrested in connection with the mass shootings at a screening of the new Batman movie early this morning in Aurora, CO, could be a registered Democrat, according to documents obtained by Breitbart News.

Uh huh. [*Checks wrist watch for a few seconds*]

Update (12:49 EDT): Newly-released information on the suspect's birthdate (which, as indicated in our initial report, was a slight mismatch), combined with new details Breitbart News has obtained about the suspect's likely addresses, together suggest that the suspect may, in fact, not have been registered to vote.

The dumbest member of Congress also has some thoughts. We'd rather not get into it.

Our condolences to the victims' families and the people of Aurora, Colorado.

[ABC News, Breitbart via Gawker]

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The Commentczar's In Town

Yr Wonkette has been getting quite a few visits from trolls lately, although most of the infestations have been incredibly tiresome and not at all worth discussing here. We're talking, like, not even as good as ol' Turgid Love Muscle Guy. Come to think of it, we haven't seen him in a while; hope he's OK. At least health-wise.

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In 2006, Bob Casey Jr., then the Pennsylvania state treasurer, defeated Rick Santorum and took his seat in the US Senate; presumably only after having it steam cleaned. Not that Casey wanted anything much to do with Dan Savage, the columnist who had helpfully made the alternative definition of "Santorum" one of the best demonstrations of the power of trolling for the prior three years. But in '06, Casey's campaign actually declined a donation from Savage; Casey's finance director thanked him, but suggested maybe Savage could give the money to a group working against Santorum so Casey wouldn't get flak for taking the donation. That was back when Dems were happy to talk about civil unions but frightened of gay marriage, and Casey just plain wussed out on the chance to bring a "weeks-long debate about feces, lube, and assfucking" to the Senate race, as then-Wonket Dave Weigel put it. But Bob Casey has come rather a long way since then, and he now supports marriage equality. He might still be a bit shy about a full-on embrace of buttsechs talk, however.

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