The staffer, producer Ashley Bianco, admits to having accessed the Robach footage on the day that it happened and marked it in ABC’s internal system, making it easy to find. But sharing it with Project Veritas? Nope, wasn’t her. If the firing offense here was supposedly airing a network’s dirty laundry — not her current network’s laundry, mind you, but ABC’s — then Bianco was wrongfully terminated. Assuming she’s telling the truth.
Coincidentally, Project Veritas published a post a few hours ago apparently written by its source entitled, “Why I, alone, released the Amy Robach Epstein tape.” It appears to corroborate Bianco’s claim that she didn’t leak it, although no names are used.
Editors Note: Project Veritas is publishing the writing below at the request of the ABC news insider who gave us the Amy Robach tape.
This was submitted to us in light of the actions taken by CBS News to fire the female staffer who had access to the tape, and to the reactions of ABC news to revelations by Amy Robach spiking of the story on Jeffrey Epstein.…
To those wrongfully accused:
It is terrible that you have been lashed out at by the company. I know some may put the burden of guilt on me, but my conscience is clear. The actions of the company towards you are the result of their own and not anyone else. The public outcry, from coast to coast, of all people, creeds, and political affiliations, is clear. I have not one doubt that there will always be support for you, and you will have prosperous careers. For neither you, nor I, have done anything wrong.
Kelly asks her to explain why she marked the footage in the first place. “Office gossip,” Bianco says. Robach’s comments were reportedly a hot topic of ABC water-cooler conversation that day in August: “Everyone in the office was freaked out by what she was saying.” Which leads to a good point from David Rutz: If Robach knew that lots of staffers at HQ and at different ABC affiliates were watching, it’s strange that she would absentmindedly launch into a bombshell mini-rant on camera about executives suppressing her Epstein scoop. She knew she had an internal audience and that her remarks were being recorded. She must have realized there was a significant risk they would leak.
Did she … want them to leak? Was this her clever way of getting her grievance with ABC over the Epstein story out into open, hoping/expecting that some sympathetic staffer would share the footage with the public eventually?
Something doesn’t add up, though. If there was a record made on ABC’s server of Bianco creating the Robach clip, wasn’t there also a record in there somewhere of who accessed the clip afterward? That’s the logical place to look for a leaker. It wouldn’t make sense for ABC to presume conclusively that Bianco had leaked it just because she was the one who had originally marked the footage. And it wouldn’t make sense for an entirely different network to can Bianco on her fourth day on the job, without giving her a chance to explain herself, with no evidence of wrongdoing stronger than the fact that she flagged Robach’s comments internally on the day they were made.
I realize that the media guild is eager to punish those who cross it. But why make a PR disaster worse by booting a staffer based on next to no evidence knowing she might run to the Internet to tell her side of things — or to Megyn Kelly?
Seems like there’s more to the story. Don’t misunderstand, I think Bianco was wrongfully fired either way. Either she didn’t leak the clip, in which case she’s innocent, or she did leak the clip, in which case she’s a whistleblower who did the public a service. But watching this, something seems off.
It’s a nifty scoop for Kelly either way, and a smart bit of branding. Like Bianco, she’s been momentarily frozen out of the network news business. Solution: Position herself for a comeback as someone who won’t play nice with the guild. Kelly’s following remains mainly a right-wing phenomenon, I assume, given her years at Fox. Taking on the mainstream media’s conspiracy of silence around Epstein is a shrewd way to rebuild goodwill with that audience. Unless, of course, it turns out that Bianco BS’d her, in which case her big exclusive will end up having made her look like a chump. Anyway, your move, ABC/CBS.