Assertion: “ABC Election Night Coverage to Feature Loesch, Breitbart …. Bigs founder and head of the Breitbart empire Andrew Breitbart will be bringing analysis live from Arizona.”
ABC’s David Ford has now justified the decision this way:
“He will be one of many voices on our air, including Bill Adair of Politifact. If Andrew Breitbart says something that is incorrect, we have other voices to call him on it.”
The problem with this, of course, is that it suggests that ABC thinks it’s very possible Breitbart may try to mislead viewers — but that this won’t be a problem because someone else will be there to correct him.
Approximately 1 pm Pacific, @ABCNews tweets:
Andrew Breitbart not appearing on ABC network broadcast. More here: http://bit.ly/bgkseJ
Denial: “Mr. Breitbart … is not, in any way, affiliated with ABC News… He has not been asked to analyze the results of the election for ABC News.”
Why The Controversy?
In case you have forgotten, it was Breitbart who manipulated video in such a way as to get Shirley Sherrod fired from her job at USDA.
I compared Breitbart with Hearst back in July. Listening ABC News?
What Breitbart appears to have done to ACORN falls in the same category: editing video in a manner that misrepresents what actually happened is unethical. When photographers for mainstream news organizations do this, they get fired.
Who can fire Breitbart? We can, by refusing to read his websites, by demanding that television “news” shows not include him as a guest or as a commentator. Only we can curtail his power, and we can do that only if we shun him, and his ilk, regardless of political orientation.
ABCNews.com is providing a veneer of credibility for Breitbart by including him in its “online-only discussion and debate to be moderated by David Muir and Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg on ABCNews.com and Facebook.”
Rather than freeze him out for ethical breaches, ABC corporate is rewarding him by giving him a national platform.
Imagine if an organization like the Wall Street Journal had invited Jayson Blair to blog on its website less than six months after his departure from the New York Times? If National Geographic had invited Colin Crawford to submit photographs to their website, less than six months after his departure from the L.A. TImes? And their rationale, if questioned? The web has a lot of viewers, and if the reporter or photographer something untrue or fabricated, a reader will correct it in the comments.
Would you sully your brand this way?
Known for gnawing at complex questions like a terrier with a bone. Digital evangelist, writer, teacher. Transplanted Southerner; teach newbies to ride motorcycles! @kegill, wiredpen.com