ABC News is having a banner week. First it was forced to acknowledge that reporter Brian Ross had smeared an innocent member of the Colorado Tea Party (and Tea Partiers more broadly) by speculating on-air that Aurora killer James Holmes might be a Tea Party member of the same name.
Now, because it’s hysterical reporting harmed an industry and cost hundreds of jobs, an Iowa radio station has dropped ABC.
Radio station KSCJ-AM has decided to cut affiliation with ABC News because of the coverage of the “pink slime” controversy and Beef Products Inc.
Beef Products Inc., a company smeared by ABC News earlier this year for production of lean finely textured beef (LFTB), had to suspend operations in plants in three different states after ABC’s Jim Avila called LFTB “pink slime” 52 times in two weeks. The people of Sioux City, Iowa are fighting back.
Beef Products Inc. had a large plant near Sioux City, in Waterloo, Iowa, that was a victim of ABC’s smears. Dennis Pollock, manager of the broadcasting network affiliated with KSCJ, held ABC accountable for the damage done to the area’s agricultural-dependent economy . He said ABC’s coverage “hurt our community and helped lead to a loss of jobs at BPI. Many of our listeners were outraged by the stories on ABC and that helped us reach the decision to switch to CBS.”
As the MRC has reported, ABC reporter Jim Avila went on a rampage against Beef Products Inc. and LFTB because it is treated to get rid of any excess germs and make the meat safer for consumers. In a series of ten stories in two weeks, LFTB was referenced as “pink slime” a whopping 52 times. In one broadcast on March 22, Avila and anchor Diane Sawyer said “pink slime” 10 times in one broadcast. Impressive!
This mass hysteria led to a “well-balanced” panel on MSNBC’s “Up with Chris Meyers” where LFTB was compared to tobacco, lead, and mercury. This panel included New York Times columnist and food critic Mark Bittman, HuffPo writer Amanda Terkel, and token conservative Kerry Picket from The Washington Times. Picket was talked over and ignored the entire segment, while Bittman was given the opening part of the panel uninterrupted.
Not surprisingly, the only outlet to mention KSCJ’s movement away from ABC and the damage Avila’s irresponsible hit pieces caused in Waterloo and Sioux City is the local “Sioux City Journal” itself.