In the initial reporting of the horrifying “Dark Knight” shooting, ABC rushed to report that a Jim Holmes– a name similar to that of the alleged shooter– was a member of a local Tea Party.
“There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year,” Ross said. “Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado,” Brian Ross told George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.”
The connection was wholly unverified, and ABC was forced to issue what some have deemed a “non-apology” retraction.
Watch the erroneous comments, below:
Now the Tea Party-affiliated Jim Holmes is speaking out, and he isn’t pleased.
Based on the fact that he is a member of a local Tea Party, there is a strong chance he was already skeptical of the “mainstream” media. Now, at least ABC has seemingly lost any credibility whatsoever in his eyes.
“What kind of idiot makes that kind of statement?” Holmes told The Daily Caller.
“Really, seriously, how do we take a journalist seriously when it’s pretty clear they really haven’t done any sort of check on their facts?”
Unlike the alleged shooter– a 24-year-old lunatic– this Holmes is reportedly a 52-year-old former law enforcement officer.
The Daily Caller, which interviewed Holmes on Friday, continues:
Holmes told TheDC that ABC News didn’t call him before going to air and he still hasn’t heard from them or received a direct apology. “No, not a thing,” he said.
“They could’ve contacted me through the Tea Party Patriots website,” said Holmes, who said he only recently joined the group and started attending lectures.
Recalling his day, Holmes said his wife first told him about the movie theater shooting Friday morning. He then received a text from a friend telling him that he was being mentioned on the news.
After the calls started pouring in, Holmes unplugged his home phone. He wanted to learn more about what was being said about him before commenting to anyone, he said. “I was getting called from area codes I just don’t get.”
“And I don’t anticipate plugging my phone in for a couple of days,” he said.
His message to reporters: “I do understand what making a mistake means… But is it really worth the person’s reputation, the potential ruining of the person’s reputation?” [Emphasis added]
Holmes added that, based on his experience in law enforcement, he knows you should “never, ever, ever bring somebody’s name or association into an accusation into the public eye” until you know the truth.
ABC appears to have missed that message.
Politico is reporting that Brian Ross will continue covering the Colorado shooting for ABC, despite his wildly inaccurate on-air speculation.