Earlier, ABC News’ Brian Ross linked the Tea Party to the shooting by pointing out “there is a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado on the Colorado Tea Party site talking about joining the Tea Party last year. Now we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it is a Jim Holmes of Colorado.”
Did you catch that? “We don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes.” An outlet with any journalism ethics at all wouldn’t report any name of any person until it was confirmed they were a suspect. Host George Stephanopoulos said the finding “might be significant” before ABC issued a retraction (a rare occurance). But why did they report it at all? Simply to smear the Tea Party as violent, an accusation that has never been backed up by evidence or fact.
“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. ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted,” the retraction said.
The problem is, ABC never had plans to vet the name, they were looking for the Tea Party “connection” since the words “massive shooting” came across the news wires. ABC didn’t bother to call the Colorado Tea Party Patriots, verify the man’s name, call James Holmes or engage in any other form of verification. Like squeezing toothpaste out of a tube, the entire goal was to plant a “the Tea Party is violent” seed back in the minds of viewers.