As MRC’s Brent Baker pointed out Thursday, there appear to be some serious holes in a story reported by ABC’s Brian Ross on Wednesday’s “World News Tonight.” For those with short memory spans, Ross alleged that House Speaker Dennis Hastert is involved in a congressional bribery investigation. Though this has been fervently denied by the justice department, as well as Hastert's office which is demanding a retraction, ABC is standing by its report.
Well, radio host Laura Ingraham (hat tip to Expose the Left with audio link to follow) reported on Thursday that she received an e-mail message from somebody high up in ABC claiming that Ross’s report was “totally bogus” and “reporters in the press gallery were laughing out loud as the story aired on ABC last night.” Ingraham declared: “This is an example of an agenda driven story without fact-checking, and with shoddy sourcing.”
The e-mail message concluded (alluding to CBS’s embarrassing Memogate in 2004): “Maybe this will be Brian Ross’s Dan Rather moment.”
What follows is a partial transcript of this segment, along with an audio link, both courtesy of Expose the Left.
Laura: I got an e-mail from a friend of mine, who works at ABC and I won’t say who this person is. But she is very uh you know she is a very significant role at ABC. (Laura begins to read the e-mail) -
“Laura, You ought to come down on ABC’s Brian Ross this morning. I’m sure you’ve seen or heard his report about Hastert being under investigation by the Justice Department for being ‘in the Mix’ of the Abramoff scandal.”
(Laura comments) I don’t want to give give this other part away but…(Back to e-mail) -
"A friend has now told me that last night reporters in the press gallery were laughing out loud as the story aired on ABC last night. They all knew that this report by Brian Ross was totally bogus. Most of the reporters and the producer who have been actually covering this story, who are really connected to this story, knew of this so called explosive letter months ago and knew that there was nothing to it. ABC, I noticed is slowly weaseling out of this story, which with each subsequent update but still refuses to retract it. Maybe this will be Brian Ross’ Dan Rather moment.”