After this past week, the good news is that ABC News is suspending a top journalist for something having nothing to do with sexual harassment. The bad news is that ABC News screwed this one up so badly that it affected the stock market.
ABC News announced Saturday that Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross would be suspended for four weeks without pay over a botched "exclusive" about former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
During a live "special report" Friday morning, Ross reported that Flynn would testify that Donald Trump had ordered him to make contact with Russians about foreign policy while he was still a candidate. The report raised the specter of Trump's impeachment and sent the stock market plummeting.
Later in the day, ABC issued a "clarification" to Ross's report, saying that Trump's alleged directive came after he'd been elected president. Ross himself appeared on "World News Tonight," several hours after the initial report, to clarify his error.
I will give ABC News credit for doing the right thing.
The Washington Post would have responded to the same thing by sneering and then throwing out a word salad press release. The New York Times isn't much better. Once upon a time, TV news was seen as having lower standards than old-fashioned dead tree journalism. These days, the Washington Post has no standards, the New York Times has few standards while TV and cable news stations have at least been willing to sanction their own for fake news.
But this is still a report that should never have aired. And we can now seen how such attacks on Trump don't just harm our political system, but cause financial damage as well.
The media's war on Trump is producing all sorts of collateral damage.
Furthermore, even if Ross' original report had been correct, that is in no way impeachable behavior. And the media's repeated impeachment-baiting is causing serious harm to our country.