Within hours of the horrible massacre at the Aurora, Colorado movie theater, liberal reporters hijacked the tragedy to advance their anti-gun rights agenda. As they did in the wake of school shootings like Columbine (Back in 2000 the MRC documented, stories advocating gun control outnumbered those in favor of gun rights by a 10 to 1 ratio), the media were quick to heap blame on the NRA and Second Amendment supporters in their quest for more restrictions on guns.   

On the very day of the Aurora shooting Time’s Michael Grunwald justified the oncoming push for gun control by the media when he pronounced: “There is nothing wrong with politicizing tragedy....Gun control and the Second Amendment are issues, too, and now seems like a pretty good time to talk about them.” (videos after the jump)



Our friends at MRCTV have a great new video that goes through a short history of the liberal media's penchant for hastily laying the blame for spree shootings and other violent attacks on conservatives. Yet time after time, when all the facts came out, we learned that it was anything but conservatives behind each and every incident. Of course, by the time all the facts came out, the media spin and speculation had already sowed the seeds of misinformation. As is to be expected, some of the worst offenders were MSNBC talent like Keith Olbermann and Ed Schultz.

My personal favorite of the ones that narrator Dan Joseph recounts is the media's rush in 2009 to speculate that suicidal U.S. Census worker Bill Sparkman was murdered by some anti-government extremists -- whipped up no doubt by the Tea Party movement -- when in fact it turns out Sparkman staged the scene of his hanging to look that way. You can watch the full video in the embed that follows the page break.



According to ABC News president Ben Sherwood, ABC’s coverage of last Friday’s Colorado theater shooting was "excellent," aside from, you know, investigative reporter Brian Ross hastily suggesting that the shooter, James Holmes, could possibly be a member of the Tea Party. It was discovered later that the Tea Party member James Holmes was a 50-something Hispanic man, not the 24-year-old neuroscience student charged with the crime.



ABC's Brian Ross, who falsely accused a Tea Party member of being the Aurora movie theater mass murderer last Friday, is even taking heat from Jon Stewart.

On Comedy Central's Daily Show Monday, the host did a segment he called, “What Story Does a Guy Have to Blow to Get in Trouble at ABC?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):



As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross on Friday falsely accused a Tea Party member of being the "James Holmes" that orchestrated the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.

On CNN's Reliable Sources Sunday, National Review's Ramesh Ponnuru said Good Morning America host George Stephanopoulos shares some of the blame for not challenging Ross about his "awfully thin" assertion (video follows with transcript and commentary):



As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross, during a Good Morning America segment with co-host George Stephanopoulos, wrongly accused a Tea Party member of being Friday's Aurora, Colorado, mass murderer.

Later that day, conservative talk radio host Mark Levin said, "If ABC News corporate had an ounce of integrity it would fire both of them right now" (video follows courtesy Right Scoop with transcript and commentary):



As NewsBusters previously reported, ABC's Brian Ross on Friday falsely accused a Tea Party member of being the "James" Holmes that orchestrated the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.

"Jim" Holmes during an interview with the Daily Caller had some harsh words for his accuser saying, "What kind of idiot makes that kind of statement?”



ABC’s Brian Ross's disgusting attempt to link Friday morning’s tragic shooting to a Tea Party member is just the latest example of the liberal media’s knee jerk reaction to impugn conservatives in the immediate wake of horrific crimes. After the shooting of former Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords liberal reporters were quick to condemn the Tea Party and conservatives like Sarah Palin and Mark Levin.

Just two hours after the attack on Giffords, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman pulled a similar Brian Ross-like assumption without the facts when he wrote in a January 8, 2011 blog that “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. She’s been the target of violence before....Her father says that ‘the whole Tea Party’ was her enemy.” During MSNBC’s live coverage of the Giffords shooting Luke Russert blamed Obamacare opponents when he theorized: “Remember, this is the deepest fear that was in the back of everybody's mind going through the health care debate. A lot of members were threatened...It looks sadly like it's come to fruition today." (quote compilation and videos after the jump)



Three hours after reporter Brian Ross attempted to connect a mass killing in Colorado to the Tea Party, ABC News admitted that the story on Good Morning America was "incorrect." The retraction was added to the top of an existing online article about the murders.

The story conceded, "An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect." [Update: Ross has now admitted his error on live ABC coverage. See video  and more updates below.]



[Developing -- Updates and video after the jump. MP3 audio here.] Hours after mass murder at a 12am showing of the new Batman film, ABC News reporter Brian Ross went on Good Morning America and speculated that the killer could be a Tea Party member.

Ross appeared Friday morning during live coverage and told viewers, "There is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well. Talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now, we don't know if this the same Jim Holmes." Co-host George Stephanopoulos eagerly touted Ross' accusations: "You've been looking- investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You've found something that might be significant."