News & Analysis
ABC's Ross Controversy Sign of the Times
ABC News president Ben Sherwood told staff today that last Friday's incorrect report by Brian Ross detracts from the network's otherwise excellent coverage of the Colorado theater shooting, network sources tell POLITICO. Sherwood's remarks, made on the network's daily editorial conference call, came the morning after Ross's report was picked up by late night comedians John Stewart and Stephen Colbert of Comedy Central, both of whom used Ross's erroneous suggestion of a Tea Party link to the Colorado theater shooting as fodder for their Monday night routines. – Politico
Dominant Social Theme: Murderous activity is a right wing phenomenon.
Free-Market Analysis: Here is yet another sign of the times we live in. ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross mentioned that the so-called Batman shooter Jim Holmes might have an affiliation with the Colorado Tea Party movement and is now being reprimanded by ABC.
How times have changed. Ross is not to be blamed. He was presenting the same leftist orientation that had previously helped him become successful.
In fact, the motivation for mentioning this purported affiliation was simple. For Ross to try to affiliate Holmes with a "right wing" cause was perfectly natural. In fact, there is nothing in "news" that does not pass through the filter of politics.
Modern news is an invention of the current power elite that uses mass media to reinforce its control over the justice system.
Wars, murders and people who act out against a variety of bureaucratic dictats are featured prominently in all nightly broadcasts in the US and throughout the West. It is part of a "naming and shaming strategy."
Of course it is larger than that as well. The power elite that apparently wants to run the world pulls the levers of public justice to ensure that its will prevails.
Modern legislation, tax policies and other sorts of judicial issues are all reinforced on air. This is the point of modern news.
There are debates in universities over what constitutes news. "Dog bites man" is not considered news while "man bites dog" IS. But this is not the real function of news.
The real function of news is to impress on people the fundamental omnipotence of government. Cases involving criminals and other kinds of misbehaving individuals inevitably receive top billing.
The power elite retains its power and influence via mercantilism, by pulling the levers of government. Anything that increases the power of government is applauded within this context.
The reason the media is seen as left wing is because, as a controlled facility of the power elite it has a function to fulfill. It is supposed to legitimize further government control.
For this reason, journalistic functionaries like Ross are apt to emphasize pro-government activities. It is most surprising that he would be chastised for a pro-government report. Here's more from the article:
On Monday's conference call, ABC News SVP James Goldston also commended the staff for its work, noted the incorrect report, and said that the network was taking steps to ensure it did not happen again, sources told POLITICO yesterday.
A spokesperson with ABC News said the network does not comment on editorial conference calls. In addition to Ross's report, ABC News now faces a conflicting claim from the mother of Colorado theater shooting suspect James Holmes.
Arlene Holmes issued a statement yesterday alleging that ABC's Matthew Mosk mischaracterized her when he reported that she had identified her son as the alleged shooter. On Monday evening, ABC released a new article with details about Mosk's call to the mother and announced that it was standing by its initial report.
ABC News was all-in on this shooting in terms of creating a believable narrative. We don't know what actually happened, but as with other such horrible shootings, there are conflicting reports. There may or may not have been others involved.
Beyond that, the massacre comes at a critical time for gun rights in the US. As a corporate entity that reinforces the anti-gun bias of the powers that be, ABC followed an obvious narrative line.
When a correspondent reached the mother of Holmes, she confirmed her presence on the phone. ABC ran with the statement as if she were conceding that her son was culpable. It has not yet apologized.
Both the mischaracterization of the mother's statement and Ross' eagerness to identify Holmes with the freedom-oriented Tea Party are part of the task that ABC performs every day. Within this context, a reprimand to Ross was unusual.
It is in fact a sign of the times and has more to do with the ability of Internet users to expose current power elite narratives than any sincere regret about news coverage by ABC news execs.
Ross actually climbed to his position by supporting the one-world, government-oriented agenda of networks like ABC. He is a trustworthy company man. That's why any further action taken against him is probably likely to be less severe than it sounds.
ABC execs are under an enormous amount of pressure right now. They have to pretend their mission is news reporting when it is actually reinforcing the power elite agenda.
The era of the Internet is making this dual role more and more tenuous. It is one reason why ratings for the mainstream media continue to sink. '
Reprimanding Ross won't help in this larger context. Telling the truth about the one world conspiracy would.
Conclusion: But that is not likely to happen. What is more likely is that ABC's credibility will simply continue to erode, no matter how many reprimands the company issues.