Thursday, October 05, 2006

Is Brian Ross the Next Dan Rather?

We've been here before; the similarities are well, eerie.

First, the sensational story in the closing weeks of an election, attributed, of course, to an anonymous source. A blogger, William "Wild Bill" Kerr of Passionate America, using clues gleaned from ABC's own website, reveals the name of one of the "victims," and the fact that he was not, as reported by ABC, under 18 at the time of the Instant Message exchange.

On Brian Ross' Blotter blog, someone quietly tries to change the wording of the Foley story to fit the new reality, but is tripped up by the Google cache.

With the backbone of their report, the lurid and salacious Instant Messenger exchange, revealed as something much, much less than advertised, ABC stands by their story.

Then, the Drudge Report reveals that Jordan Edmund, the former page who participated in the Instant Message exchange with Mark Foley, did it as a prank. His story is corroborated by at least one other former page. Drudge also says that ABC got the story only after it " into the hands of enemy political operatives" (Ace of Spades has done some preliminary investigation about just who some of those operatives might be).

There is not one peep about this stunning revelation on ABC's World News Tonight, but the Blotter says that three more pages have come forward, anonymously, of course.

Brian Ross and ABC have already abused the anonymous source dodge at least once in this saga, and apparently have been duped badly. They shouldn't be given a pass this time. And, since Jordan Edmund and another witness have stated that "enemy political operatives" purloined the Instant Message records, ABC and Brian Ross may be guilty of receiving stolen property. They need to reveal the identity of their original source to the authorities.

Perhaps Brian Ross should resign, but, for now, ABC is standing by their story.