If they didn’t have double standards, they’d have no standards at all.
That old conservative truism about the mainstream media has rarely been on more blatant display than in the revelation Tuesday by the activist group Project Veritas that ABC News had squashed a major story about the infamous financier/pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, Britain’s Prince Andrew, and, of course, Bill Clinton.
And the reason?
According to an ABC statement to Project Veritas, the reporting by ABC News anchor Amy Robach was allegedly not up to the network’s “standards.”
Any American who was alive for the same network’s coverage of the confirmation controversies surrounding now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had to be astonished.
In the Project Veritas video released Tuesday, Robach is shown talking to a person identified as her “producer,” furious that she hadn’t been allowed to go on the air with a bombshell Epstein report.
“It was unbelievable what we had — Clinton, we had everything,” Robach said. “I tried for three years to get it on, to no avail, and now it’s all coming out, and it’s like these new revelations and I freaking had all of it.”
Robach said the evidence on hand included an interview with Epstein accuser Virginia Roberts Giuffre as well as corroboration from other women.
“All of it” was apparently not enough for ABC to air an explosive story involving a wealthy financier with friends in high places.
In a statement to Project Veritas on Tuesday, the network stated that the project was still being worked on.
“At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since we’ve had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it,” the network said. “That work has led to a two-hour documentary and 6-part podcast that will air in the new year.”
That explanation barely passes the laugh test.
As David Harsanyi pointed out in National Review, ABC’s decision three years ago didn’t come in a vacuum.
Three years ago, Hillary Clinton was running for president as the nominee of the Democratic Party.
“One imagines that a story detailing her husband’s vacations to a pedophile’s island retreat might have been newsworthy,” Harsanyi wrote.
Americans might also recall that, as Fox News noted, ABC’s top political correspondent, George Stephanopoulos, had to forego moderating presidential debates that year because of the revelation that he’d donated $75,000 over the years to the global slush fund known as the Clinton Foundation. The network’s objectivity on the Clintons is at least questionable.
And even if the election had played no role in ABC’s decision, is it likely that a major news organization would need three years to nail down a story like that?
Because Epstein died under mysterious circumstances in August, he will be good and gone by the time the story airs — if it ever does.
Well, it’s good to know that ABC has standards. What’s a mystery is how those standards were utterly disregarded during the controversy over the Kavanaugh nomination.
ABC was among the pack of mainstream media outlets that reported uncritically a host of allegations against Kavanaugh, who was then a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — and a man who’d led a virtually blameless life.
Not only did ABC join the rest of the media in reporting the original, shaky accusations from Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford, but it also continued to report the ever more unbelievable charges that seemed to come out of the woodwork, as liberals grew increasingly desperate to derail the nomination.
In one story, for instance, from Sept. 26, 2018, ABC reported that the Senate Judiciary Committee was investigating reports from a woman named Julie Swetnick, who had come forward represented by none other than now-disgraced celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti with claims about Kavanaugh that strained the imagination.
“I observed Brett Kavanaugh drink excessively at many of these parties and engage in abusive and highly physically aggressive behavior toward girls,” Swetnick wrote, according to ABC, “including pressing girls against him without their consent, ‘grinding’ against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts.”
ABC did take the trouble to confirm that Swetnick had graduated from a high school in the same area as Kavanaugh and even noted that she would have been three years older than he was, but left it to readers to wonder why she would have been partying regularly with teens.
This came just before Swetnick’s credibility was destroyed by her own publicity.
As recently as September of this year, ABC was part of the pack journalism that tried to jump on the excerpt of a book written by two New York Times reporters.
That excerpt, published by The Times, alleged an incidence of sexual misconduct by Kavanaugh during his Yale years that had literally no independent confirmation.
That story has turned out to be as empty as the accusations against Kavanaugh that were made during his confirmation process — especially when it turned out that The Times excerpt had omitted critical information about the alleged incident, including that the alleged victim didn’t even remember it.
Of course, an argument can be made that ABC and the rest of the media were justified in going after the Kavanaugh story. It was a matter of high public importance involving major figures in American life.
In the Epstein case, though, the same arguments could be presented.
While Jeffrey Epstein himself might not have been a particularly well-known figure, there’s no doubt that he moved in rarified circles.
And when those rarified circles include a former president of the United States, the American people have a right to know about it.
There’s no way of knowing how truly strong Robach’s material was, but it’s clear from the Project Veritas video that the reporter thought she had the goods.
Check it out here:
Now that the video is out, Robach is singing a different tune (no doubt with an eye toward covering for both herself and her employer).
“As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration. I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts [Giuffre] didn’t air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC’s editorial standards about her allegations,” the statement said.
“My comments about Prince Andrew and her allegation that she had seen Bill Clinton on Epstein’s private island were in reference to what Virginia Roberts [Giuffre] said in that interview in 2015. I was referencing her allegations — not what ABC News had verified through our reporting. The interview itself, while I was disappointed it didn’t air, didn’t meet our standards.
“In the years since no one ever told me or the team to stop reporting on Jeffrey Epstein, and we have continued to aggressively pursue this important story.”
Some or all of that might even be true. But American readers and viewers who watched the mainstream media baying like hounds in full pursuit of the Kavanaugh story a year ago could be forgiven a little skepticism about ABC’s “standards.”
As allegation after ludicrous allegation piled up against Kavanaugh, reporters for major news outlets like ABC tracked down and publicized virtually every twist.
Meanwhile, ABC was sitting on a story about very public figures, apparently protecting a convicted sex offender, because higher-ups allegedly felt it wasn’t yet strong enough to go public.
From Robach’s own words, the Epstein story could have implicated former President Bill Clinton — about as big a name in Democratic circles as there is in the United States.
Considering the reckless disregard for truth with which ABC and the rest of the mainstream media treated the accusations that arose during the Kavanaugh nomination, is it likely that the network would have spiked a story that implicated a Republican with the same evidence?
Every honest American knows the answer to that question.
“I’m so p—-d right now, like every day I get more and more p—–d,” Robach said in the Project Veritas video.
Conservative media watchers know exactly how she feels.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.