You. don’t. say.

It’s not quite as stupid as “fake but accurate” or “getting in front of the news cycle,” but it’s not far behind, either. The making of a laughingstock:

Reporters for NBC, CBS, CNN, Fox News and other news organizations checked out ABC’s report but were waved off by law enforcement officials. “Within 15 minutes, we had three or four basic denials saying in effect this was a complete overreach, and we chose not to run it,” said John Reiss, executive producer of “NBC Nightly News.”

Our affiliate, Expose the Left, has a partial transcript from Laura Ingraham’s radio show yesterday. It’s third-hand information, but it does jibe with Kurtz’s report:

[R]eporters in the press gallery were laughing out loud as the story aired on ABC last night. They all know that this report by Brian Ross was totally bogus. Most of the reporters and the producer who have been actually covering this story, who are really connected to this story knew of this so called explosive letter months ago and knew that there was nothing to it. ABC, I noticed is slowly weaseling out of this story. Which with each subsequent update but still refuses to retract it. Maybe this will be Brian Ross’ Dan Rather moment.

Here’s the Blotter’s latest update reciting “what ABC knows.” And here’s how Kurtz’s article concludes:

Ross said yesterday the Hastert inquiry he described “could wash out and be nothing.” Asked if the alleged inquiry should have been the top story on “World News Tonight,” Ross said: “Questions are being raised about the speaker of the House — that’s worthy of a lead story.”

And there you have it. Could be nothing at all to it — but “questions have been raised,” and that’s enough.

There’s only one man involved in this story with less credibility than Ross right now. Click, and don’t miss Bob Barr’s quote.

Update: My take on the “semantics issue” can be found here and here.

Update: Pete Hoekstra, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, says there may be “a lack of understanding” by the media about the dangers of publishing classified information. I think he gives them way, way too much credit.

Tags: Fox News