Boy, the world is a noisy place these days. So much name calling. So much anger and so much misinformation.
On Friday, ABC News screwed up. Not only did they royally screw up. They bloody well tanked the stock market putting out information that was totally wrong, a.k.a. fake news.
It all started when ABC’s Brian Ross broke news that during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had directed Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials before the election and that he would testify that information against Trump. Problem is, that’s not true. Not even close.
The phone calls Flynn made to the Russian ambassador were made during Trump’s transition. Not when he was a candidate. Timing matters if you are implying the election was rigged. And if you are implying laws were broken. No laws were broken if it was done during a transition — but the law Flynn did break was for lying to the FBI. And that’s what he pleaded guilty to.
For hours, however, this erroneous information spread like wildfire. Dangerously wrong information that had real consequences. Especially for those who watched their investments tumble 350 points in the stock market.
The View‘s Joy Behar made an utter fool of herself, not just celebrating the wrong information, but endorsing it reading it out to her low-information audience, and then further implying collusion was imminent.
Again — wrong, ladies. Flynn lying is far from collusion.
Hours went by and ABC tried to fix the mess issuing, at first, issuing a clarification: As if to say, “We made a little oopsie.” Far from it. Big damage was done. The blowback was fierce.
Not only will the erroneous live in the cyber world, it will spread and stretch and before too long, a tinfoil conspiracy will be born.
It wouldn’t be until a full day later, on Saturday, that ABC would finally acknowledge the mistake and issue an apology announcing Brian Ross was suspended for a month. Ross, a multi-award-winning investigative reporter, and one of the networks big “credible” stars.
Hey Joy — got anything to say now? Nah, she is quite quiet now.
I’m not sure why she would champion the demise of a sitting president. If Donald Trump is caught breaking the law it’ll be a very dark day for the U.S., and it will have real implications around the world at a time of real global uncertainty.
Hate Trump all you want, but none of this should be celebrated, there is simply too much at stake.
The next time you hear the term “fake news” what ABC pulled Friday is a perfect example. Sadly, it will only further elevate the noise. The anger. And the mistrust In media. Congratulations ABC, you handed Trump that one.
Alex Pierson is the host of ON Point with Alex Pierson on Global News Radio 640 Toronto, 900 CHML and 980 CFPL.
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