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Thursday, January 4, 2018

Mistake-prone ABC News reporter doesn't report in

He's nowhere to be found. ABC News' chief investigative (LOL--he investigates like Barack Obama leads) correspondent, Brian Ross, was scheduled to return to work Thursday after being suspended for a huge screwup regarding an "exclusive" report on President Trump and Russia.

Ross was put on a 4-week unpaid suspension after incorrectly reporting on live TV that fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would be testifying that Trump ordered him to make contact with the Russians about foreign policy while he was still a candidate. The stock market fell over 300 points after the announcement, losing billions of dollars for American investors, and it raised the specter of Trump's impeachment.

Except that it didn't because it wasn't true.

ABC was forced to retract the report and ABC News President James Goldston said on a conference call that he'd never felt more "rage, disappointment and frustration" in his entire career, and that Ross would never cover Trump again. 

It isn't clear if the disappointment was in the incompetency of Ross or that Trump didn't contact the Russians concerning foreign policy . . . or both.

An ABC News spokesperson wouldn't comment as to whether Ross will ever be returning to ABC at all.

When Ross was suspended, Trump told a Florida crowd that Ross should be fired and that he will build a wall. 

"They took this fraudster from ABC," Trump said. "They suspended him for a month. They should have fired him for what he wrote. He drove the stock market down 350 points in minutes, which, by the way, tells you they really like me right? When you think of it, and you know what he cost people? And I said to everybody get yourself a lawyer and sue ABC News, sue them."

I don't think Trump should be telling companies what to do. Sure, Ross is a screwup, but it isn't the job of the president to get involved with all the minutiae in the world or "punch down" whenever he's attacked verbally. This is what drives conservatives crazy.

Ross tweeted that his job "is to hold people accountable," and noted "That's why I agree with being held accountable myself."

And if he didn't hold himself accountable? How would that have played out?

Ross has screwed up before and was never held accountable. In 2001 he incorrectly reported that Saddam Hussein's regime may have been responsible for anthrax attacks that terrorize the United States following 9/11. 

In 2006, he reported that then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert was a target of a federal corruption probe involving Jack Abramoff. But Hastert was never approached by prosecutors, proving Ross wrong again, and again, no apology.

Besides this latest flub, the one that comes almost as close is the where in 2012, Ross reported that Colorado theater shooter James Holmes may have had ties to the Tea Party movement.

"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," the fake news reporter reported on "Good Morning America." He went on, "Now, we don't know if this is the same Jim Holmes--but this is Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado."

Really, what an ass.

He was called "America's Wrongest Reporter" by Gawker, a now-defunct website.

"When there's breaking news, especially about terrorism and national security, ABC News' Brian Ross is there," wrote John Cook on Gawker. "And under no circumstances should you listen to anything he says."

So let's hope he's gone for good.