ABC's Laughable Defense: No Regrets, 'No One Feels Robin Got Duped' by Smollett

A key embarrassment of the Jussie Smollett hoax was the Robin Roberts interview on Good Morning America, where the extra-sympathetic host wouldn't even use the word "alleged," and asked the now-comical question "If the attackers are never found, how will you be able to heal?"

Now ABC staffers are going out to speak anonymously in defense of this Valentine's Day debacle. Several spoke to BuzzFeed News with the usual lame defenses, like “It was an interview everyone wanted."

Yes, it was. And Smollett picked Roberts because he expected -- accurately -- that it would be a unicorns-and-rainbows interview. Smollett also expected everyone else in the media to follow Robin's sappy example. For example: see their headline at BuzzFeed News!

Jussie Smollett Says He's "Pissed Off" By People Who Doubt He Was Attacked

“How can you doubt that? Like, how do you not believe that? It’s the truth.”

ABC's anonymous sources claimed that at the time she interviewed Smollett on February 12, "police were still calling him a victim." But by that time, several claims were already refuted -- like Smollett's allegedly broken ribs -- and there was still no video proving an assault. Smollett didn't want to share his phone records. Nevertheless, ABC was anonymously hilarious: 

“There’s not really a spirit of regret about the Jussie interview,” insisted one GMA source. “And no one feels that Robin got duped. Taken advantage of, yes, but not duped.”

This is "I Am Not a Crook" territory. Everyone feels Robin got duped. Duped simply means "tricked." That's the generous spin. She was either tricked, or she knew the attack was fraudulent, and cooperated in a lie. Duped is the better option. But ABC is guilty of manufacturing Fake News, in the name of Political Correctness. 

The transparently silly spin continued, that this was "an incredible interview," and no one could have seen this end coming. 

“She conducted an incredible interview and the shoes fell really just right after the interview aired,” the source added. “Timing made it bad optics, but who could have seen any of this coming as we see it today?”

But another ABC source painted Roberts and GMA viewers as victims of Smollett's lies.

“He never flinched,” the source said. “He looked right into the camera and lied to everyone.”

A network executive also defended Roberts' handling of the interview. "There's a reason every news organization is running those clips. It's news. That interview is central to the story as a whole," the executive said. "You have to assume the same version he told us, he told the police."

What kind of defense of "news" making or "journalism" is this? "Every news organization" knew that Smollett's phony claims were "news"? "Every news organization" also ran Dan Rather's fraudulent National Guard expose of President Bush in 2004, but then they turned the story around to the truth, and CBS News took a hit. ABC should own their mistake, not try to pass the blame on to everyone else. 

Tim Graham's picture

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