ABC News has announced that Brian Ross would be suspended for four weeks without pay “effective immediately.”
“It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience – these are our core principles. We fell far short of that yesterday,” the network said in a statement on Saturday. “Effective immediately, Brian Ross will be suspended for four weeks without pay.”
Ross came under considerable fire on Friday after he erroneously reported on live television that then-candidate Donald Trump had instructed Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians. In a correction seven hours later, the channel admitted that it was “President-elect” Trump who had made the request of Flynn — a pretty significant difference.
ABC issued a correction on Twitter and also updated their original article.
CORRECTION of ABC News Special Report: Flynn prepared to testify that President-elect Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians *during the transition* — initially as a way to work together to fight ISIS in Syria, confidant now says. https://t.co/ewrkVZTu2K pic.twitter.com/URLiHf3uSm
— ABC News (@ABC) December 2, 2017
ABC has sustained withering criticism from all corners of the internet since the error first became known Friday.
“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday,” the network continued in its latest statement. “The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial standards process.
“As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online,” it concluded.
It’s not the first time Ross has come under fire for playing fast and loose with the facts, either. In 2012, he falsely suggested that the Aurora shooter Jim Holmes had been a member of the Colorado Tea Party — he was not.
That flub also resulted in an on-air clarification from Ross, which you can watch below.
ABC News’ Brian Ross had to apologize for suggesting that Aurora theater shooter James Holmes was a member of Colorado Tea Party. pic.twitter.com/MThgHQ7I99
– Ryan Saavedra ???????? (@RealSaavedra) December 2, 2017