ABC Scrambling to Put Some Meat on Ross' Story

As time passes, it is increasingly clear that the ABC News report which started the Foley firestorm is odorous —— and I'm not talking Chanel.

(1) It dealt with the  emails which the FBI and many media  organizations considered as innocuous as the Republican leadership did. Who circulated these reports is not yet clear.Foley's spokesman said his opponent, Mahoney had been shopping the story to the media for some time.

(2) ABC was the first to run with the story which every other media outlet, of the many which had received the email story, had passed on as unsubstantiated and not newsworthy. The only new tag for the story was that Mahoney, Foley's opponent, called for an investigation, a demand he said was impelled by a report on a newly created, barely trafficked utterly fake website designed solely to hide the source of the emails. How did he happen to come across this website?

(3) The emails on that site, in any event, are  themselves demonstrably fake.

(4) Almost simultaneously with the ABC report, C.R.E.W. placed on its blogsite a .pdf file purportedly of the same emails. It has refused to disclose to the FBI their provenance.  And an ex—page, Jordan Edmund, later determined to be one of the ex—pages involved in an IM exchange, posted notification of the story on the now removed (but screen saved) page website run by an another ex page, Matthew Loraditch.  See post #264 here.)

There is a suggestion, I think, that he'd been anticipating this story. Did Ross, or someone acting with him or on his behalf, have contact with the ex—pages before the initial story ran? Or is this another of the many curious coincidences which surround this story?

(5) Ross reports that overnight after that story ran, he received racier IMs from other ex pages. Loraditch, who ran the page website, was quoted by ABC as saying he'd seen some steamy IMs in which Foley purportedly had been involved. After considerable ducking, ABC has finally admitted that the IMs came not from the ex—pages themselves , but from "other pages".

Were those other pages Loraditch and Edmunds? And were they alerted by someone to fax them to Ross as soon as the first story ran? If so, why? If not, had they given them —— wittingly or not —— to third parties who provided them to Ross? Was the second story designed to conflate in the public mind the notion —— utterly false —— that Hastert had seen them, too? Or was it just to keep the story alive?

(6) From the snippets of the IMs ABC published, one blogger was able to quickly track Mr. Edmund as one of the participants according to ABC's report. (We still haven't got enough information to know if these IMs are authentic.) That enterprising blogger has since received a letter from  Edmund's  lawyer demanding he remove his client's name from his website. Curiously the letter states:

Without any foundation or legal permission, you are stating that our client is the person associated with the IMs. Neither ABC News nor Brian Ross have been error free in their reporting in the past. You should not assume that they are correct now. Like all individuals and institutions, they occasionally make mistakes. (Emphasis added.)

(7) Drudge  reported that he'd contacted two of Edmund's friends who say the IM correspondence was a "prank". We don't know if that means the IMs are in some respect false or if they were deliberately designed to somehow entrap the Congressman. Drudge reports his witnesses stand by their story. In a subsequent interview on CNN, Edmund's counsel said  he could not "rule out" a prank.

(8) As that story started  falling apart, Ross announced he had three more ex—pages who had had IM communications with Foley, but he has not revealed their names. Apparently they do not have documentation for their claims, for ABC has posted none of their material. Presumably these ex—pages are Democrats, for unlike the first, no affiliation was given. Presumably they, like Edmunds, never contacted the Republican leadership, for no such claim was made and such a claim certainly would have been made had that been the case.

(9)  ABC has now set up a tip line asking pages and ex—pages to report incidents with Foley. It is not necessary to identify oneself to report a "tip", and one can only suppose that having hit dry wells on the prior reports, ABC is trolling for anything else it can find to prop up an increasingly suspicious story.

Anyone can try his or her hand at creative writing and create a "tip" for ABC to report.

Or anyone can just conclude, as I have, ABC is behaving extremely irresponsibly.

Clarice Feldman is an attorney in Washington, DC and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.

As time passes, it is increasingly clear that the ABC News report which started the Foley firestorm is odorous —— and I'm not talking Chanel.

(1) It dealt with the  emails which the FBI and many media  organizations considered as innocuous as the Republican leadership did. Who circulated these reports is not yet clear.Foley's spokesman said his opponent, Mahoney had been shopping the story to the media for some time.

(2) ABC was the first to run with the story which every other media outlet, of the many which had received the email story, had passed on as unsubstantiated and not newsworthy. The only new tag for the story was that Mahoney, Foley's opponent, called for an investigation, a demand he said was impelled by a report on a newly created, barely trafficked utterly fake website designed solely to hide the source of the emails. How did he happen to come across this website?

(3) The emails on that site, in any event, are  themselves demonstrably fake.

(4) Almost simultaneously with the ABC report, C.R.E.W. placed on its blogsite a .pdf file purportedly of the same emails. It has refused to disclose to the FBI their provenance.  And an ex—page, Jordan Edmund, later determined to be one of the ex—pages involved in an IM exchange, posted notification of the story on the now removed (but screen saved) page website run by an another ex page, Matthew Loraditch.  See post #264 here.)

There is a suggestion, I think, that he'd been anticipating this story. Did Ross, or someone acting with him or on his behalf, have contact with the ex—pages before the initial story ran? Or is this another of the many curious coincidences which surround this story?

(5) Ross reports that overnight after that story ran, he received racier IMs from other ex pages. Loraditch, who ran the page website, was quoted by ABC as saying he'd seen some steamy IMs in which Foley purportedly had been involved. After considerable ducking, ABC has finally admitted that the IMs came not from the ex—pages themselves , but from "other pages".

Were those other pages Loraditch and Edmunds? And were they alerted by someone to fax them to Ross as soon as the first story ran? If so, why? If not, had they given them —— wittingly or not —— to third parties who provided them to Ross? Was the second story designed to conflate in the public mind the notion —— utterly false —— that Hastert had seen them, too? Or was it just to keep the story alive?

(6) From the snippets of the IMs ABC published, one blogger was able to quickly track Mr. Edmund as one of the participants according to ABC's report. (We still haven't got enough information to know if these IMs are authentic.) That enterprising blogger has since received a letter from  Edmund's  lawyer demanding he remove his client's name from his website. Curiously the letter states:

Without any foundation or legal permission, you are stating that our client is the person associated with the IMs. Neither ABC News nor Brian Ross have been error free in their reporting in the past. You should not assume that they are correct now. Like all individuals and institutions, they occasionally make mistakes. (Emphasis added.)

(7) Drudge  reported that he'd contacted two of Edmund's friends who say the IM correspondence was a "prank". We don't know if that means the IMs are in some respect false or if they were deliberately designed to somehow entrap the Congressman. Drudge reports his witnesses stand by their story. In a subsequent interview on CNN, Edmund's counsel said  he could not "rule out" a prank.

(8) As that story started  falling apart, Ross announced he had three more ex—pages who had had IM communications with Foley, but he has not revealed their names. Apparently they do not have documentation for their claims, for ABC has posted none of their material. Presumably these ex—pages are Democrats, for unlike the first, no affiliation was given. Presumably they, like Edmunds, never contacted the Republican leadership, for no such claim was made and such a claim certainly would have been made had that been the case.

(9)  ABC has now set up a tip line asking pages and ex—pages to report incidents with Foley. It is not necessary to identify oneself to report a "tip", and one can only suppose that having hit dry wells on the prior reports, ABC is trolling for anything else it can find to prop up an increasingly suspicious story.

Anyone can try his or her hand at creative writing and create a "tip" for ABC to report.

Or anyone can just conclude, as I have, ABC is behaving extremely irresponsibly.

Clarice Feldman is an attorney in Washington, DC and a frequent contributor to American Thinker.