“The music selection was a poor choice and was not intended to be linked to any news story,” a CNN spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “We regret any perception that they were planned together.”
Several outlets are headlining this an “apology,” but it’s about a quarter-apology— the even lazier cousin of the half-apology so often adopted in media and politics.
Strange how these musically misogynistic mishaps always happen with prominent conservative women, huh? Well, there was this one, which throws off the pattern. Maybe it’s just women running to the right of Barack Obama?
Do we really think that, if CNN had made a similarly “poor selection” for a Nancy Pelosi story— say, I don’t know “A Perfect Lie”— it wouldn’t have issued an on-air apology?
But enough of this weak sauce. Let’s check in on the Brian Ross situation. Surely, ABC’s moving toward some sort of formal punishment for its investigative reporter after he erroneously connected Colorado shooter James Holmes to the Tea Party with nothing more than his gut and a Google search. Right?
ABC president Ben Sherwood did face questions about Ross’ flub at a Television Critics Association event, but it looks like Ross will face no formal reprimand of any kind. ABC is the UN of journalism, issuing “strong, stern” talkings-to to correct behavior:
“He was not suspended and there was not a formal reprimand, although we had the first conversation like that that he and I have ever had.” Mr. Sherwood was referring to the “stern and serious conversation.”
Improbably, in a panel discussion, Sherwood seemed to congratulate ABC for correcting the error quickly:
“It was a mistake; we recognized it immediately and owned it immediately…We corrected it immediately, and we apologized,” Sherwood told TV critics, adding that Ross has reached out to the other man in Aurora, to “express his regret.”
Stephanopoulos, host of “This Week,” was sitting across from Ross accepting his report credulously, but he seemed pretty laid back about it, too:
Stephanopoulos, who appeared at the press tour via satellite with the rest of the “GMA” on-air gang, also apologized for the mistake.
“This was a breaking news situation and people are going to make mistakes,” Stephanopoulos said, adding “The test of a good journalist and good news organization is how you handle and how transparent you are with the viewers” when a mistake is made.
Or, you could say, in the moment, “Hey, Brian, do we actually have any proof that’s true?” That’d be a good test of a journalist.
And perhaps most improbably of all, both Sherwood and Stephanopoulos claimed there was no political motivation behind the mistake:
“We all know that our work can become political fodder,” [Stephanopoulos] said. “I don’t think there was any political motivation behind the mistake.”
“We — all news organizations — are interested in finding out as much as we can about [Holmes], about his affiliations, his associations,” he said, adding that a “rich profile” of a person who may be responsible for the worst mass shooting in U.S. history has “journalistic relevance.”
Indeed, and I’m sure Ross would have reported immediately if he had Googled “Jim Holmes” + “Aurora” + “locavores and vegans.”
Sherwood said the “buck stops” with him, but that Brian Ross is an “outstanding investigative journalist,” and after all, wasn’t ABC’s coverage pretty awesome aside from that?
Exit question (Allahpundit™): Is Stewart losing his touch?