Brian Ross, the disgraced former investigative correspondent for ABC News and NBC News, is joining the Law & Crime online channel -- a “sister entity” to the Mediaite website -- as chief investigative reporter and on-air anchor, as well as host of his own weekly show.
When Ross makes the transition in September, he will be joined by Rhonda Schwartz, former chief of investigative projects at ABC -- who was also fired with Ross -- as executive investigative producer.
Law & Crime founder Dan Abrams said in a statement:
I worked with Brian and Rhonda for years, and there are no more celebrated and dogged investigative journalists in the country.
We could not be more excited that they have agreed to join our network and team.
According to an article written by Mediaite Managing Editor Aidan McLaughlan, “Ross left ABC News after inaccurately reporting in a live special that President Donald Trump directed former national security adviser Michael Flynn to reach out to Russians during the 2016 campaign.
“Schwartz, his longtime producer, followed,” McLaughlin stated. “That ended his 24-year stint as the face of ABC News’ investigative arm, where he covered everything from wars to presidents to corporate scandals,” the Mediaite managing editor noted.
“Mediaite asked Abrams what he would say to Trump supporters who might be concerned about the botched report that led to Ross’s departure from ABC,” McLaughlan added.
Brian and Rhonda have conducted investigations that have angered major corporations and leaders of both parties.
Brian’s career can’t be judged based on a single live shot.
In addition, the website founder stated that Ross “pointed us to investigative reports that Ross and Schwartz broke over the years, including a report on Rev. Jeremiah Wright, President Barack Obama‘s controversial pastor, and a report on the Clinton Foundation."
“Ross told Mediaite he would look to continue the sort of investigative reporting he and Schwartz pursued at ABC News,” McLaughlan noted.
“With my long-time partner Rhonda Schwartz,” Ross stated, “we are excited to join Dan and his team in building a robust team that will feature the same kind of cutting-edge investigative reporting that won us so many honors at NBC and ABC, holding the powerful accountable.”
He added: “We want to continue our investigative efforts with renewed vigor; and help highlight the important investigative reporting being done at newspapers and broadcast outlets outside of Washington and New York that don’t often receive the attention it should.”
“There could not be a more important time to produce quality investigative reporting -- and being part of the law and crime team is a perfect place to do it,” Ross stated.
As NewsBusters reported in December of 2017, Ross had to issue an embarrassing “clarification” after he said hours earlier in a "bombshell scoop” that Flynn was told by then-candidate Trump to reach out to Russian officials. That charge was proven to be incorrect.
It wasn’t the “candidate” who told Flynn to “make contact with Russians” but Trump as “president-elect” asking Flynn to “contact Russia on other issues, including working together to fight ISIS.”
As a result, ABC suspended Ross without pay for four weeks regarding his “incorrect reporting."
Then on Monday morning, all three major broadcast networks -- ABC, NBC and CBS -- failed to update their viewers with the news that Ross had been suspended over the weekend for his false “bombshell” report that led media reports Friday morning.
In early July, ABC posted a message declaring that “after more than two decades,” Ross and Schwartz had decided to leave the network.
By that point, Ross and Schwartz had generated several “scoops” that blew up in their faces, including a charge that the 9/11 anthrax attacks on New York and Washington were coated with bentonite, a deadly biological weapon.
Then in 2012, Ross claimed that the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting was perpetrated by a member of the conservative Tea Party, but he soon had to apologize on Twitter for saying that.
Given their track record, it might only be a matter of time until Ross and Schwartz try to peddle some more “fake news” as the real thing. Here’s hoping they’ve finally learned the negative consequences of being "incorrect" when the viewers expect legitimate "reporting."