Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Jon Stewart Nails Brian Ross on Rush to Judgment (Update)

In a follow-up to the still-unfolding story of James Holmes, mass-murderer of the Aurora theater slayings, Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show" (the main source of news – I am not making this up – for a significant number of viewers under 30) takes on one of the more egregious examples of press bias in the form of Brian Ross, the Chief Investigative Correspondent (for Pete’s sake) for ABC News, who jumped the shark by linking the killer, however carefully, with a Tea Party member in the area.

Left unsaid is why Ross, apparently as enthusiastic about the idea as George Stephanopoulos who introduced him, would seek out the name on a Tea Party list of names in the first place.  Did he think to check out the name from the arrest records for Occupy Denver or the ACLU, for example?  This knee-jerk reaction (“Hmm … mass murderer … Tea Party”) is just assumed as a reasonable connection within the Commentariat.  It is bad enough that Ross, the Chief Investigative Correspondent (did I say that already?) made such a bone-headed mistake that would get a freshman journalism student tossed out of class (one should have two sources for confirmation: he had zero, over and above just wishful thinking); he has shown the collective fourth estate posterior in this rush to judgment.

It is one of a kind, allow me to say, with the early reports that Holmes did not seem to be a military veteran (later confirmed that, sure enough, he wasn’t).  Again, a member in good standing of the MSM, whose first reactions to hearing of a mass murderer is to go to (1) military veteran?, then (2) Tea party member?

Will Ross be held to account?  Well, as the Chief Investigative Correspondent, what would he do if one of his underlings pulled such a faux pas?

Yeah, I don't think so either.

Update:  It seems that the clearance for the video above has been yanked by Viacom International, but Newsbusters has preserved it.

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