Media folks over the weekend were still buzzing over the major faux pas of ABC News’ veteran investigative reporter Brian Ross who, in haste on television Friday, wrongly indicated the Aurora, Colo., theater shooter may have had connections to the Tea Party, notes Grumpy Editor.
In a Good Morning America segment with co-host George Stephanopoulos, Ross offered the Tea Party connection after noting a 52-year-old Jim Holmes on a Colorado Tea Party Web site.
“Now we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colo.,” cited Ross.
Stephanopoulos ended the segment with, “Okay, we’ll keep looking at that, Brian Ross. Thanks very much.”
But James E. Holmes, the shooting suspect who makes his first court appearance today, turned out to be 24 and not a Tea Party member.
(Grumpy Editor emphasizes taking a few extra minutes on the Web to run down names in the community would have turned up the correct Holmes, with the younger age, on Paris Street, complete with apartment number, in Aurora.)
A statement from the Colorado Tea Party Patriots said attempts “to characterize the shooter as a Tea Party member without having made any effort to contact our organization are shameless and reprehensible.”
ABC News later said an earlier “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."