TV-ABC-Robach

This Sept. 13, 2013 photo released by ABC shows co-host Amy Robach during a broadcast of "Good Morning America," in New York. (AP Photo/ABC, Heidi Gutman)

Is it any wonder the American public distrusts the media?

This week, Project Veritas released a video featuring ABC News anchor Amy Robach on set, speaking in August with a running camera and a hot mic. In her conversation with others off-camera, apparently during a setup or commercial break, Robach noted with some frustration that she had the story about the allegations against Jeffrey Epstein all to herself three years ago and with about as much detail as anyone could expect. But her network, she added, inexplicably refused to air it.

“I’ve had the story for three years. I’ve had this interview with Virginia Roberts (Giuffre). We would not put it on the air,” Robach said. “First of all, I was told, ‘Who is Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.’ Then (Buckingham) Palace found out that we had her whole allegations about Prince Andrew and threatened us a million different ways. We were so afraid we wouldn’t be able to interview Kate and Will that we, that also quashed the story.”

“It was unbelievable what we had. Clinton, we had everything,” she continued. “I tried for three years to get it on to no avail. And now it’s all coming out, and it’s like these new revelations, and I freaking had all of it.”

After Project Veritas released the video, Robach walked her comments back and said the undercover journalist “caught” her in a “private moment of frustration.” She added that since the Epstein allegations broke, ABC News has “continued to aggressively pursue this important story.”

Additionally, ABC News has claimed it refused to run Robach’s reporting because it did not meet their editorial standards. Apparently, there wasn’t enough corroborating evidence, despite the fact that Robach says in the video that she had multiple witnesses who confirmed her story. Still, ABC News decided that the allegations, despite the corroboration, were just allegations unworthy of airing. And they killed the story that would eventually land Epstein behind bars, triggering his death.

It should be added here that Page Six, the New York Post’s gossip column, had reported on ABC’s George Stephanopoulos attending parties at Epstein’s townhouse on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. This not only gives the lie to the excuse that Epstein was insignificant, but it also offers a motive for top brass at ABC to do what they did.

ABC News, ostensibly a news organization, sat on one of the biggest and most consequential stories of the past decade. By the company’s explanation, this was for the sake of an editorial standard, a standard that was strangely missing from its coverage of another significant moment in recent U.S. history.

ABC News, along with just about every other outlet, gladly ran the allegations of sexual assault against then-Judge Brett Kavanaugh, even though corroborating evidence was nonexistent and most of the stories being told were quite clearly lies. In fact, some of the allegations published by ABC were so outlandish that the FBI and the Senate Judiciary Committee didn’t even consider them.

Between Sept. 13 and 24 of last year, ABC News, CBS, and NBC devoted nearly 6 hours to the accusations against Kavanaugh, and only 8% of that coverage included Kavanaugh’s denials and lack of evidence behind the accusations. Yet ABC News couldn’t be bothered to give Robach a few minutes to cover credible and substantiated accusations against a pedophile and sex trafficker who had been living it up with the rich and famous on both sides of the pond.

And it’s worth pointing out again that one of ABC’s considerations in spiking Robach’s story was the potential loss of a chance to interview Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.

Thus, the reporting of corroborated facts works so long as it fits the media’s agenda; as soon as it doesn’t, the mask comes off.

Also, maybe Kavanaugh should have married a member of the British royal family.

Epstein had powerful people on his side who likely bullied ABC into silence. Some of them may have worked for the network. But when Kavanaugh’s hearings rolled around, ABC zealously stepped into the role of bully, attempting to destroy the life of a man whose only crime was that he was appointed by President Trump.

Most journalists want to do the right thing. Robach, for one, wanted to report out and broadcast Epstein’s story, as her angry explanation from August now makes clear. But ABC did not do the right thing, and the network’s after-the-fact explanation is not credible.

For many, this incident connects the dots between left-wing media bias and distrust of journalists. It helps explain why people increasingly reject the role of the media as wise gatekeepers, capable of deciding what is newsworthy. And it explains why so many people cheer when Trump calls the media “the enemy of the people” only to turn and sneer when lectured about this behavior by sanctimonious journalists.

The Washington Examiner

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