Alexandria, VAOn Wednesday, May 24,
anchor Elizabeth Vargas and reporter Brian Ross of ABCs World News
Tonight dramatically reported startling news that House Speaker
Dennis Hastert is under investigation in relation to the Jack Abramoff bribery scandal. Fellow ABC correspondent George
Stephanopoulos called the story potentially seismic in its
The problem is that 1) the Department of Justice issued two denials, refuting ABCs claims; 2) it is now known that ABC did not call Speaker Hastert until one hour before its broadcast; and 3) ABC did not even check with the Justice Department for an official response before the broadcast.
Here we go again. The ABC story on GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert is very similar to CBSs and Dan Rathers false story about George Bushs National Guard service, said MRC President Brent Bozell. ABC has used unnamed sources and it cannot prove its defamatory story, which, no surprise, follows right on the heels of the bribery scandal involving Democratic Representative William Jefferson. ABC is playing fast and loose with no facts it is smoke and mirrors.
In the interest of fairness and responsibility to the American public and the parties concerned, ABC must formally retract its unfounded story about Speaker Hastert and apologize for its sloppy and politically slanted reporting, said Mr. Bozell.
To schedule an interview with MRC President Bozell or an MRC spokesperson, please contact Tim Scheiderer (x. 126) or Colleen OBoyle (x. 122) at 703.683.9733.