So, ABC decided to have Andrew Breitbart as a contributor to their election night coverage, despite the fact that he has repeatedly punked the news media with deliberately false and deceptive “news” stories, and now they are trying to walk this clusterf%$# back:
Since conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart announced on his website that he was going to be a participant in ABC’s Town Hall meeting at Arizona State University, there has been considerable consternation and misinformation regarding my decision to ask him to participate in an election night Town Hall event for ABC News Digital. I want to explain what Mr. Breitbart’s role has always been as one of our guests at our digital town hall event:
Mr. Breitbart is not an ABC News analyst.
He is not an ABC News consultant.
He is not, in any way, affiliated with ABC News.
He is not being paid by ABC News.
He has not been asked to analyze the results of the election for ABC News.
Mr. Breitbart will not be a part of the ABC News broadcast coverage, anchored by Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos. For the broadcast coverage, David Muir and Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg will contribute reaction and response gathered from the students and faculty of Arizona State University at an ABC News/Facebook town hall.
He has been invited as one of several guests, from a variety of different political persuasions, to engage with a live, studio audience that will be closely following the election results and participating in an online-only discussion and debate to be moderated by David Muir and Facebook’s Randi Zuckerberg on ABCNews.com and Facebook. We will have other guests, as well as a live studio audience and a large audience on ABCNews.com and Facebook, who can question the guests and the audience’s opinions.
I have no objection to ABC using conservatives as either news analysts or “guests” on their discussions.
That is a basic journalistic activity.
That being said, when you do so, you have an obligation to bring on someone who has is own opinions, not his own (made up) facts.
Andrew Breitbart is an individual who has deliberately, and maliciously created fake news stories to pursue his political agenda, and he continues to do so.
If you are a news organization, and you don’t use the words, “professional liar,” before any mention of him, you are a piss-poor news organization.