This seems … what’s the word I’m looking for?

“Collusion-y,” shall we say.

And given the obvious public interest in knowing what billionaire degenerate Jeffrey Epstein and his cabal of famous friends were doing for years with teenaged girls, one might properly describe the leaker as a … what’s the right term?

“Whistleblower,” perhaps.

I noted yesterday that it was understandable, if craven, for ABC to omit all mentions on air of the now-famous Robach video that was leaked to Project Veritas. It’s embarrassing to them so they don’t want to call attention to it. What wasn’t understandable was ABC’s competitors declining to cover it also. As NBC has discovered with its own cover-up of Harvey Weinstein’s behavior, it’s legit news when a network has the goods on a major sex-crimes expose and buries it for no good reason — according to one of its own anchors. ABC’s competition was and is engaged in a conspiracy of silence, whether because they fear reprisals in the form of ABC airing their own scandals if they cover the Robach story or because this is just how this sleazy guild looks out for each other.

But I didn’t think the collusion extended quite this far:

“ABC News showing more initiative in hunting down the guy who leaked that they killed their billionaire pedophile piece than they did in covering the actual billionaire pedophile,” notes Alex Griswold. Logan Dobson adds, “Mainstream media has gone from ‘democracy dies in darkness’ to ‘snitches get stitches’ remarkably fast.”

What’s the argument that firing the staffer — sorry, I mean whistleblower — was proper rather than cutthroat retaliation by one news bureau on behalf of another to remind everyone that no one f***s with the guild without paying for it? Presumably CBS reasoned that a staffer who was willing to air ABC’s dirty laundry would be willing to air theirs too once he gained access to their archives. Imagine the sort of hot-mic material that might be buried in there. (“Did you hear what Charlie Rose did at the staff party last night?”) It’s a de facto admission by CBS that they have skeletons in the closet which they’re worried might tumble out.

But it’s also inescapably a judgment that what the whistleblower did by leaking the Robach tape was wrong, which is a strange position for a news organization to be in. The media routinely publishes leaks by government officials that expose official wrongdoing, to the feds’ eternal frustration. When Trump or someone else high up complains, the media counters that the public’s interest in knowing outweighs the headaches created for the state. We are right now engaged in a national debate over whether the whistleblower in the Ukraine matter should be outed, with the media — including Fox News — almost uniformly taking the position that he shouldn’t be even though (a) there’s no law prohibiting the revelation and (b) the alleged whistleblower’s name has already circulated online. The press is keeping the guy’s name out of print despite its obvious newsworthiness for one reason, because they know that he’ll be ruthlessly threatened and intimidated by Trump loyalists once he’s outed.

So here comes ABC dialing up CBS to let them know that the Robach leaker is now in their employ, at which point CBS springs into action and ruthlessly terminates the guy on ABC’s behalf. If leaks of closely held government information can be justified in terms of the public interest, why can’t leaks of closely held media information be justified in the same terms? The public wants to know what Epstein and his very influential scumbag cronies were up to. Robach seems to have had some idea. She was silenced. Someone blew the whistle.

And now he’s out of a job, thanks to CBS.

Exit question via the Washington Examiner: If the Michael Avenatti/Julie Swetnick allegations met ABC’s not-very-exacting news standards last year during the Kavanaugh saga, why didn’t Robach’s piece on Epstein meet them two years earlier? The very least the network could do at this point is explain why, in detail, Robach’s reporting just wasn’t solid enough to be aired.