Article: ABC News apologizes for ‘serious error’ in Flynn report, suspends reporter for four weeks
by Katie Leach | Dec 2, 2017, 6:04 PM | Updated Dec 2, 2017, 7:09 PM
The Washington Times
ABC News announced that it will suspend reporter Brian Ross for four weeks without pay after the outlet issued a correction to a report about former Trump aide Michael Flynn.
“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday,” the cable news company wrote in a statement Saturday night. “The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.”
The original report, published in the morning Friday, cited a source saying President Trump requested that Flynn make contact with the Russians while he was a candidate in the 2016 presidential election. ABC later issued a “clarification” then a “correction,” saying that Trump made the request after the election during the transition.
Ross’ faulty reporting, which was delivered on ABC News’ “Special Report,” led to news organizations, including the Washington Examiner, to cite the report and share it with their own audiences. Similarly, news outlets, like the Washington Examiner, scrambled hours later to update and correct their stories one ABC News revealed the error.
The Dow also plummeted 350 points at the time the bombshell report was published but recovered later in the day.
ABC News’ suspension of Ross came after Donald Trump Jr. slammed the news organization for “fake news” and suggested that they would not punish the reporter because “the error was adverse to @realDonaldTrump… the same error about his predecessor would have been met with real consequences.”
Similarly, Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, tweeted Saturday, “it’s ridiculous that it took over 6 hours for ABC News to issue a “clarification” for a report that was completely false. ABC News should retract and apologize.”
Brian Ross has yet to issue a personal statement on his error, but does have a history of making high-profile errors.