ABC’s Brian Ross Should Be Fired
July 21, 2012

by Sonja Eddings Brown

The news business has radically transformed since I worked for ABC as a newswoman and other major networks as a producer.  Years back, a major correspondent for a national news network just WOULDN’T chance making an improper identification on the air.

It just wouldn’t happen.

The consequences in the newsroom, and the loss of regard AMONG

Watchdogs of journalism like Peter Jennings...have passed on. And not just at ABC.

YOUR COLLEAGUES would be so damning, that no reporter and no legitimate newsman would DARE.  “Getting it right” was professional custom and practice and the measure of any network newsperson.
Stories were watched by 40 million people, not 40,000 as sometimes now happens to our major cable news networks.  Even so, releasing the name of a victim or identifying a suspect, without absolute confirmation from authorities was forbidden.

The bar was higher, because the professionals….were more professional.

Not The First Rush To Judgment For ABC's Brian Ross

ABC’s Brian Ross was trained in those years.  But repeatedly, he has been caught erring on the side of making headlines rather than living up to what are now considered “old fashioned” journalistic standards.

ABC’s mistake wasn’t just sloppy journalism.  We EXPECT that from local and network news in 2012.  The egregious mistake Ross and ABC’s newsroom made was to expose its personal agenda, and the personal agenda of many in the major media.  Caught red-handed on the national airwaves, ABC News jumped at the prospect of pointing the finger at a “crazy” on the Right, and even better, in the Tea Party.

It was as natural as pouring another cup of coffee and pressing “send.”

“Appearing on Good Morning America, ABC News’ Brian Ross said,

“There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes — but this is Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.”

However it was later revealed that the 24 year old suspect looks nothing like the 52 year old Holmes.  It was too late.

James MICHAEL Holmes, Innocent Colorado Tea Party Leader

Ask James Holmes, the REAL Colorado Tea Party leader what the price of that mistake has been.  Thrust innocently into the limelight, his telephone and address has become public knowledge.  Death threats.  Fear of reprisals. And no doubt a giant law suit on the way to ABC.

He should sue.  Because Brian Ross should be fired, and the only way other “journalists” will do anything other than self-righteously brush over Ross’ “innocent error”… if it costs the networks.

It’s time for news organizations, bloggers, and even news websites like ours, to return to the old-fashioned rules of journalism.  At The Kitchen Cabinet, we still believe in them:  The 5 W”s.   Who, What, When, Where and Why.

Opinion is identified as such, and not carefully woven into front page news stories as FACT.  Most importantly, when given the privilege of carrying news to a hundred, a thousand, a hundred thousand, or a million viewers, shouldn’t the national news media be held to the HIGHEST standards?

The public airwaves…are OURS.  NOT theirs.



41 Responses to “ABC’s Brian Ross Should Be Fired
July 21, 2012

  1. Ross s/b fired ASAP.  i will gladly sign any petition to that effect.  we should bring it right to disney’s door (ABC is owned by disney).  i hope jim sues the basterds (sic).

  2. The news is supposed to be just that. Honesty and integrity are so not in the news media at this time that it is pathetic. I have learned not to believe anything much on the news now and the way it is told, it would be surprising if anyone of us believed anything we hear. The media is so biased toward the Leftists that we seldom hear anything of real importance any longer and definately not anything deroggative against our golf playing alien president. Too bad they are getting paid for all of this unimportant stuff while the real news goes right off to the waste basket.

  3. After a public apology he should RETIRE.

  4. Watchdogs of journalism like Peter Jennings…..LMFAO!

  5. You need to make a correction in this article in the second to the last paragraph.  Your “5W’s” should be Who, What, Why, When & Where….not Who, Where, Why, When and HOW.  Honest mistake, but I thought I’d let you know about it so you can edit that quickly before someone else decides to make that blow up in your face.  Some people are dirty like that.  I’m not.  I told you in a friendly way 🙂

  6. Btw…NOT particularly in that order…LOL!  Most likely, I would make them Who, What, Where, When & Why 🙂

  7. Thank you for this article, I agree with you.  I consider what Brian Ross said was defamation of character of Mr. Holmes and I hope he does take action.  As a Tea Party Patriot myself, I am appalled by the so called “New Organizations” continual denigration of Patriotic Americans because they do not agree with our political views.  The News outlets that have chosen to pick sides politically are not professional outlets of journalism, they are in fact sold out political hacks pushing propaganda for an agenda.  I rest my case on Brian Ross.            

  8. Here again ABC has just proved they do not care about what they say or do  its all about ratings(which has droped alot) and greed.  If I was James  I would sue the entirer ABC network not just ABC news-ABC news is the ABC network and need to be taught a huge lesson. I have no use for this network and I only have it on 1 hr, a day and then I go to another network where the truth can be found.

  9. I hope that after James Michael Holmes is done suing the ass of of ABC, something really bad happens to Ross.To ruin an innocent mans life and just say, ‘Oops, I’m sorry.” is NOT enough.  And yes, fire that jack-ass at once.

  10. YOu can tell by the video above that this guy thought he was just one step ahead of everyone else.  Look for the smug little smile.  Seriously, journalism is dead.  What takes place now is what once upon a time would only have been excepted in the Inquirer.  Talk before confirm; no facts; off the top of your head.  This is NOT reporting!  What happened to REPORTERS who actually presented the facts…both sides and allowed the viewers, who DO have brains, to make up their own minds?  This man RUINED the life of another person.  He will, no doubt, take crap for days, possibly forever, because of the careless and foolish “i’m one upping everyone, flippant attitude.”  This is not reporting.  There should be HUGE consequence…starting with him making a direct apology ON AIR to this man and his family…ending with termination of his job.  I am SO sick of news teams that openly pander to a political point of view.  One by one….they stop being watched in MY house.

  11. I am mortified, I had not heard about this . How horrific for the other Jim Holmes. We are not a member of the Tea Party, but my husband is a retired 30 plus years Navy Command Master Chief. We have gone to several meetings,just for my husband to perform some military fuction (ie) a presentation of a Flag or to speak to issues of Flag etiquette. I know very little about the Tea Party why would Bryan Ross even bring the Tea Party into the equation?   Helen

  12. Like red meat in front of a pit bull, a member of the Liberal media suspects that a right-wing Tea Party leader has “gone off” and the opportunity to break the story….irresistible.

  13. The only way Brian Ross will he held accountable, is if there is a major lawsuit against Abc, apologies mean nothing. 

    Brian Ross is a punk! He knew exactly what he was doing, why don’t publish his address and phone number! See how it feels.

    Brian Ross is a disgrace to journalism, and so is stephanopolis rpleated the lie with glee 

  14. The rule that you erred on “5ws” in reporting is funny as your skewed journalism. Looks like Ross made a mistake on two Colorado residents. If the older Holmes wasn’t a Tea Bagger you wouldn’t be out for more blood! Do you think Assault Weapons should be in the hands of the mentally ill? You don’t like a free press or liberals and probable want to control what the say too!  The Koch Brothers are buying all our politicians and elections, the propaganda coming from their sources is amazing.

  15. fire his sorry butt!! how could he do that? jim holmes life is ruined. DO NOT let him get away with this!!

  16. I’m all for as long as FOX news has to play by the same rules!


  18. Brian Ross should be fired. This kind of reporting is alarming and shows the extreme liberal bias of the media. Your network should be renamed to
    “The Obama Propaganda Network “.

    The bottom line is your network cannot be trusted reporting the news without an extreme liberal bias agenda. This is a sad day in our country when the news media can no longer be trusted.

  19. I worked 4 years for a journalism professor and he would have failed any student that was this biased.  We have dropped cable TV because there is no journalistic ethics anymore.  The press is an arm of the liberal party just as in countries with dictators.  It is no surprise it is happening even more with this president.  Ross should be fired and Stephanopolis is right there with him.  The press is  the right arm of the liberal, socialist, and marxist people we have running this country.  Would he have announced any occupy person with the same name?  I doubt it.  Unforgivable in my book. 

  20. I have to take issue with the Peter Jennings comment.  He was pretty supercilious.

  21. Looks like we are SO CONTROLLING that we won’t let Liberal Trolls comment on our site… wait, we just did!!!!!

  22. These so called “reporters”, are the most disgusting human beings on earth.  Of course he should be Fired, and ABC should start replacing them with REAL reporters.  I understand there are quite a few people looking for work these days.  Oh, that’s right, the major networks haven’t seemed to notice, they are to busy kissing Obama’s Ass.  They are all laughable, and when everyone with any brains in this country stop tuning in to these reprobates, they will see where their Headline Grabbers got them….They are almost there now.  Bottomfeeders.

  23. Yes he should be fired. But more importantly, WE should stop patronizing the sponsors of left wing news shows, stop subscribing to left win newspapers, stop watching left wing network and cable news channels. If we stop spending our time and money on this garbage, they will go out of business.

  24. It’s like Glenn Beck said, ” reporters should report the news, not make it”.  So much for ethics in journalism.

  25. Yes Brian Ross should be fired, but ABC will do nothing.  Because things like this have changed so much since Obummer has been in office that there won’t even be a reprimand.  But let someone degrade George Bush or some of the other former presidents that did what they should – that is okay.  Especially when you have idiotic morons in the White House like Obummer and his czars and his cabinet members that have NO IDEA what they are doing and should ALL be shipped over to the middle east countries that they all love so much – with a one way ticket and not be allowed back into this country.

  26. The news hasn’t been trust worthy for years. All those that actually gave a damn about what NEWS was or is, are gone. I don’t believe anything any of these so called “reporters” say. It’s not about Honesty and Integrity, it’s about what sells and what pays more. And has been for many years.

  27. ever since the greats such as Art Linkleter,David Brinkly  and especially Walter Cronkite, there is no such thing as news here in this country. It’s all propaganda, aimed at keeping us devided so the ruling class can keep us conquered.

  28. He says they are not sure it is the same Jim Holmes…so why didn’t they find out for certain before even mentioning a name?   Just goes to prove how eager they are to make us “right wingers, Tea Party, Proud Americans look bad.   The only reason I ever watch any of the network news is to see just what propaganda they are promoting.  I’m always amazed at the junk they put forth as news, while not mentioning events that are important.  Thank goodness for FOX News.  They may not be perfect, but they are a far cry from anything else we have.

    Praying for all affected in CO, including all the those in public service and the medical field. 

    Now we must wait for all those wanting to take our guns away….when in fact, if one or two in the audience had been trained, legal gun carriers, the incident could have had a very different ending.

  29. Another reason that I do not pay much attention to television news reporters anymore. Typically slanted to make them look good and further their careers.

  30. Jounalistic malpractice. Mr Ross was so very anxious to find a link to any right leaning group he tried to tie the shooter to the Tea Party. Who would think to do this in the midst of reporting this horrific tragedy?  Mr. Ross has a very strong and not so hidden agenda and this network shoud do the right thing and retire Mr. Ross.  Where is their jounalistic integrity? Mr. Ross seems to have forgotten the basic tenants of reporting. Shame on him.

  31. In response to unbiased news, I must interject about a radio station in St. Louis, 97.1 Talk radio. It is a Fox news station and they always close a segment with the phrase-Fair and Balanced. Well, this is so brazenly untrue. Every anchor on a show is so against Obama, like Michael Savage, Shean Hannity, Mark Levin, etc. They have referred to Obama as an idiot, a moron, and an Islamic radical. Of course, everyone has an opinion, but the news people have a responsibility to provide the news without bias or judgment. Yet, no one says anything is done about it. It definitely not in the league with John Cameron Swayze, Chet Huntly and David Brinkley and other excellent news anchors. This is just my opinion. The American people can speak among themselves how they feel about their president, but the newspeople are supposed to broadcast the news, not provide their personal opinion.

  32. Amen, but Peter Jennings was as bad. He was so biased against G.W. Bush as to be insulting!

  33. Amazing that the leftist media will go to all lengths to tie any horrific incident to either the Tea Party or the Right without a shred of proof just like the Gabby Giffords shooting. Brian Ross, while being interviewed by George Stephanolpoulos, said: There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. Instead of Stephanolpoulous questioning where, why, how there was a contention to this person with the same name and how Ross came up with this conclusion without any evidence, this is what Stephanolpoulos said instead of being unbias which reporters are suppose to do: Okay, we’ll keep looking at that. Brian Ross, thanks very much.
    This is why I don’t watch leftist media anymore and stop watching them since the 2008 election when at the polls a person was protesting and carrying his gun in his holster to stand up for his 2nd Amendment right but the leftist media only showed him from the waist down hiding the fact that he was a black man. The leftist media ran with this story and deliberately trying to portray the Tea Party in a negative light by trying to make you think he was a white man with a right wing agenda, instead of a black man just standing in protest for his 2nd Amendment Right. There have been so many other stories lately that have been altered like the Tray Martin 911 call and many other’s and the leftist media is still getting away with it. They also only show Obama in a positive light and never report the truth or the whole story or hid any stories that are negative about him.

  34. Sonja — the comment under Peter Jennings picture, “Watchdogs of journalism like Peter Jennings…have passed on.” — is not correct.  Jennings was NOT a “watchdog” — he was as bad as Brian Ross — he was anti-semetic and anti-American — as a Canadian — he was always making snide comments about America/Americans — the country that made him a star and a multi-millionaire!  He was married to a Palestinian woman and also made snide comments about Israel — get it straight — PLEASE don’t hold up Jennings as a “media role model!”  Not hardly!!

  35. To Maytthew. There was no mistake. The word How was not used. The article said who what when where and why. There you go pulling the same old liberal tricks as the mainstream media. Go lie to someone else ,you liberal moron.

  36. No I don’t think he should be fired. Not unless every American citizen is fired for mistakes they’ve made on the job. I can’t stand it when people act like no but themselves are allowed to make any mistakes. So you have a different political belief from Ross, that doesn’t give you the right to act like he deserves to lose his job over a stupid mistake.
    People who demand other people should lose their job are some of the worst people around. They sit on a pedestal and judge others but don’t want to own up when karma comes around.

  37. Ross should not only be fired but should be required to make an on air appology to this man and make certain that all of the veiwers who watched that day know that HE F**KED UP!!!

  38. Journalistic standards? LMAO. Those haven’t existed since the ’70s. When journalists quoted a source, they actually had a source. Every news network, paper whatever uses a “source” to sell wedge issues or ideology to less educated. (the Romney fundraiser supporter had that part right). I once heard a radio talk show host push a congressional problem that was non-existent only to have a senator to push the same problem the next day. That was followed the next day by the radio host, saying, “I told you so.” A Fox White House reporter once asked WH spokesman a question that began with, “People are saying,” and nobody had brought the issue up. These so called news organizations push issues that divide the country. Issues like women’s reproduction rights, gay marriage, religion and gun rights. The LIBOR scandal took millions of dollars from Americans that had small business loans, mortgages, car loans, student loans and went relatively unnoticed by the media…nothing to see here, move a long…oh, look there’s a gay person wanting equal rights. The media has a new meme and it’s “We report, you decide’…even if it’s wrong. 

  39. I say promote him, not fire him…then EVERYONE will know what a sham ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and the other liberal media outlets REALLY are and have been for quite some time!

  40. Why should anyone be surprised? ABC,CNN most all of the public media stations, I think are in obamas pocket! They never tell the truth…I get my information for Fox and other areas. It is a waste of time to watch any of those. I say “FIRE” brian ross…he is NOT dispensable! Not a reliable reporter since he has to do something as  “STUPID” as he did. I have never cared for him and an few others. FIRE brian ross!!!!!! If these station want to have viewers, they need to clean house, just like our political system…..need to clean house in alot of areas.

  41. That what happens when you don’t do your job right FIRE HIM….. and we are going to FIRE OBAMAS come November…..