Reporter Brian Ross is out at ABC News after a 24-year run. Ross was suspended last year after a misleading report about President Trump. From Variety:
“After more than two decades at ABC News, Brian Ross and Rhonda Schwartz have decided to leave the company,” ABC News President James Goldston said in a memo to staffers Monday. “Over the years they have built a team of the best investigative journalists in our industry, and they leave behind an outstanding group that will continue to break stories for many years to come.”
But Ross’ reputation was sorely tested in December after he took to ABC in a special report and told viewers erroneously that Trump had directed Flynn when he was a candidate to make Russian contacts. The report prompted the Dow Jones Industrial Average to fall more than 300 points and a tweet about it was reposted on Twitter tens of thousands of times before ABC clarified on “World News Tonight” that Trump’s instruction came after he was elected.
Ross tweeted the departure on his own account:
It’s time to say good-bye after 24 years at ABC News, an organization that has meant so much to us. While Rhonda Schwartz and I are signing off from ABC News, we are hardly leaving investigative journalism. There is much more to do.
— Brian Ross (@BrianRoss) July 2, 2018
When Ross’ erroneous Trump-Russia story first broke, it appeared to be a very big deal. It was the first potential connection linking Trump to a specific request to contact Russia and the left greeted it as proof that collusion was a fact and prison time (or impeachment) was just around the corner. Here’s how the news was greeted on The View before the correction was issued:
But Ross got the timeline wrong. Trump’s request to contact Russia came after his election, i.e. during the transition when it’s normal for a soon-to-be-inaugurated President to begin reaching out to foreign leaders. The moment ABC admitted the mistake, Allahpundit asked: “Why does Brian Ross still have a job?”
A couple days later, ABC News announced that Ross would be suspended for four weeks. The next day ABC added that he would no longer be working on any scoops related to Trump or Russia when he returned. It took a few months but I guess Ross finally got the message.
For many on the right, the only question is why it took this long. Back in 2012, Ross made a similar blunder when he suggested a mass shooter in Aurora, Colorado might be a member of the Tea Party. He was wrong about that too. The Jim Holmes listed on the Tea Party site was not shooter James Eagan Holmes.
The only surprise in this story is that, so far, President Trump has not tweeted about this. I guess Trump could be taking the high road on this but I guess we’ll see. Meanwhile, here’s Ross’ previous failure regarding the Tea Party: