On Tuesday, Darren Wilson spoke with ABC News's George Stephanopoulos for over an hour. In the interview, a promo for which was released Tuesday afternoon, Wilson repeatedly defended killing Michael Brown in August, saying he did what he was trained to do that day and that wouldn't do anything differently. Later in the interview, Wilson told Stephanopoulos he had a clean conscience, though he said he regretted the loss of life.
ABC News has never won a Pulitzer Prize, since Pulitzers are not for television. That didn’t stop ABC News president Ben Sherwood from demanding that the awards committee (which doesn’t recognize television) recognize ABC for its role in the reporting that won another (non-television) outlet a Pulitzer earlier this week. Sherwood’s public campaign has already turned ugly.
ABC News and The New York Times have known since 2007 that Robert Levinson, the ex-FBI agent who was kidnapped in Iran, was not, as the U.S. government and his family claimed, an independent businessman: He was working for the CIA. The Times’ report today discloses this timeline; ABC News’ report does not—but a source at the network confirmed to Gawker that ABC reporters discovered the CIA connection in 2007 as well. At the request of the government and Levinson’s family, however, both outlets repeatedly stated, without any caveats, that Levinson was on a “business trip” when he was captured. A review of their coverage indicates that ABC News did so at least 7 times, and the Times at least 3 times.
This web site, myself included, has been frequently unkind and occasionally unfair to ABC News White House correspondent Jake Tapper over the years. So allow me to recant, sort of: Over the course of the last election campaign, Tapper has been among the least obnoxious mainstream-media voices in the Washington bubble. His brief stint filling in as host of This Week was the best thing to happen to that show in years (and I nominated him as its permanent host). But more important, he has written an excellent, unsparing new book about the tragic mindlessness of the war in Afghanistan and the lives of the men and women tasked with waging it.
Aaron Fisher, the 18-year-old formerly known as 'Victim 1' in the Jerry Sandusky case, gave his first interview to ABC's 20/20 Friday night. It was the first time the 18-year-old revealed his real name. The segments in which Fisher spoke were, as you'd expect, alternately sad and disturbing. Among other things, Fisher told ABC that Sandusky would wait for him outside his house, comparing the former Penn State coach to "that ex-girlfriend you wish you never had."
ABC News did some serious, hard-hitting journalism this week when they purposely left behind iPads at TSA checkpoints in ten different airports, all of which had "a history of TSA theft problems." Nine out of ten iPads were returned, but some highly paid TSA worker at the Orlando airport stole the 10th.
When there's breaking news, especially about terrorism and national security, ABC News' Brian Ross is there. And under no circumstances should you listen to anything he says. His latest breathtakingly reckless report: Some Tea Party guy on the internet has the same name as the Dark Knight Rises shooter, so, you know, they have the same name. So there you go. Tea Party.
ABC News president Ben Sherwood is a notorious social climber and horrible self-help writer whose detractors call him "the Draco Malfoy of broadcast news." When he took over the news division last year, some at the network worried that he was more of a "Hollywood Guy" than a "News Guy." How Hollywood? Last month he told his staff in a morning conference call to stop reporting news of a potential terror plot timed to the 9/11 anniversary in such a "measured way" and to "turn this into a thriller."
Recently vindicated kidnap, rape and torture victim Elizabeth Smart has taken a job at ABC News, according to The Daily Beast, where she'll be a regular contributor to Good Morning America, and possibly other properties. But her own nine-month child abduction nightmare is behind her, an ABC spokesperson assures; this is all about Smart focusing on new child abduction nightmares.
Last month ABC News' Diane Sawyer traveled to the decimated town of Joplin, Mo., to anchor World News in the wake of those horrible tornadoes. The brilliant Harry Shearer managed to catch some behind-the-scenes footage of an anxious, tentative, and confounded Sawyer huddling in a shawl against oncoming storms with the destroyed suburbs at her back as her crew frantically attempts put together a broadcast. It's a short Beckett play, about America, called "I Have Nothing."