Media

Here’s What ABC Ran With While Holding Up Epstein Bombshell Over Journalistic Concerns

Screen Shot/FoxNews

Virginia Kruta Associate Editor

ABC ran with at least a few questionable stories while the network sat on a potential bombshell story about the late convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

  • ABC ran a number of stories on Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, including gang-rape allegations that were only substantiated by Stormy Daniels’ former attorney Michael Avenatti.
  • Former ABC reporter Brian Ross ran a story falsely claiming that President Donald Trump had directed General Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians prior to the election.
  • The “live footage” ABC aired of armed conflict in Syria was actually filmed on location at a shooting range in Kentucky.

Project Veritas released undercover video Tuesday of ABC’s Amy Robach complaining that she had a major story about Epstein three years ago — one that reportedly named both Bill Clinton and Prince Andrew as Epstein’s compatriots — but the higher-ups told her that it wasn’t ready for air. (RELATED: Leaked Footage: ABC Reporter Who Interviewed Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Thinks He Was ‘100 Percent’ Killed)

Some immediately drew a parallel between ABC and NBC, the network that reportedly quashed the Harvey Weinstein story from journalist Ronan Farrow that helped kickstart the #MeToo movement.

Robach and ABC each released a statement on the Project Veritas video, saying that they continued to pursue the Epstein story but it never went to air because it didn’t meet their editorial standards.

Fox News host Jesse Watters questioned the network’s statement Tuesday on “The Story” with Martha MacCallum, asking how many underage girls might have been raped in the time they held off on that story and pointing out stories that didn’t appear to meet any reasonable standard.

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“As Amy says, she had witnesses. She had victims. She had photographic evidence with Bill Clinton connection and a British royal family connection,” Watters said. “And ABC News said that did not meet their editorial standards. What are those standards? I want them to come clean because they went after Brett Kavanaugh with 40-year-old hearsay, with no corroborating witnesses, no evidence, and a lot of that was furnished by Michael Avenatti … a bankrupt tax cheat, who brought forth gang-rape allegations with no evidence. So what were those standards that allowed that to get on air? I would like to know.”

Watters was not the only one to make that connection.

And while the coverage of the allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh was the most obvious comparison, there were other stories that went to air with what appeared to be a much lower threshold.

In January of this year, ABC joined dozens of other outlets in running with a video that showed a group of teenage boys, some of whom wore MAGA hats, apparently “taunting” a Native American activist. “Students in ‘MAGA’ hats taunt indigenous elder, demonstrators in Washington: VIDEO,” the headline read.

Full video revealed that the Native American activist had actually approached the boys, who hailed from Covington Catholic High School in Kentucky, and that another group had been harassing the boys for over an hour prior to the confrontation that went viral. (RELATED: The Real Story Behind The Catholic School Boys And Their Dust Up With A Native American Veteran)

But as Breitbart’s Alana Mastrangelo pointed out, there was more.

Former ABC reporter Brian Ross reported in late 2017 that Trump had directed General Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians before the 2016 election — and when the story broke, the Dow Jones plummeted over 300 points. (RELATED: ABC News Suspends Brian Ross After Fake Bombshell Story)

And ABC was forced to eat even more crow when, after airing footage of what they claimed was live military action in Syria, the network admitted that it was two-year-old stock footage shot at a gun range in Kentucky.

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ABC has given no additional clarification with regard to what specific editorial standards were being applied to the Epstein story and whether or not they differed from those applied to other stories.