Doing unto Brian Ross

Taking one of my kids to the airport yesterday morning I tuned in to the local radio station that carries Rush Limbaugh. Leading in to Rush, Glenn Beck was talking about the events of the day. Beck was hammering Brian Ross’s breaking news report on ABC earlier that morning related to the massacre in Aurora. As Beck explains here, Ross — “Chief Investigative Correspondent” for ABC News — didn’t spend much time covering the victims during ABC’s live coverage of the shootings (or from his personal Twitter account).

Instead, invited to break in to ABC’s live coverage by George Stephanopoulos, Ross conveyed the upshot of his investigation (otherwise known at ABC as a Google search) into the perpetrator, connecting the “James Holmes” who had been apprehended for the shootings to the Colorado Tea Party. Ross “reported”: “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 it is Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.”

Ross, not surprisingly, had nabbed the wrong Jim Holmes. Paul Mirengoff says all that needs to said in a serious vein in “The political uses of mass murder.”

Beck nevertheless added something useful. Beck and “Chief Investigator” Stu Burguiere spent a segment doing unto Brian Ross something like what Brian Ross had done unto the wrong Jim Holmes of Aurora earlier that morning. It was satirical. It was funny. On a day full of sadness and anger, it made me laugh.


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