ABC News Apologizes after ‘Inadvertently’ Conflating Ex-Mozilla CEO with Westboro Baptist Church

Good Afternoon America

Do you believe this was “inadvertent?”

ABC News evidently ran a video of Westboro Baptist Church — complete with inflammatory signs about homosexuals — as they were reporting the story of Brendan Eich, former CEO of Mozilla.

Mr Eich resigned from his position with Mozilla, a company he founded, after being attacked for a $1,000 donation he had made to the Prop 8 campaign in 2008.

ABC later apologized, labeling the stunt, which appeared on Good Morning America, “inadvertent.”

I am not convinced by the “inadvertent” claim. The entire piece is smirky and biased, even without the video. I don’t know, of course, but I think the use of the video was deliberate.

I do know that if something like this happens again, the “inadvertent” excuse will be gone.

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From The Blaze:

Newsbusters’ Scott Whitlock has more background on the ABC story:Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich was fired earlier this month when it was revealed that he donated $1000 in 2008 to Proposition 8.

As Good Morning America reporter Linzie Janis explained the story on April 4, footage of the completely unrelated Westboro protesters holding “soldiers died 4 f*g marriage” signs appeared onscreen.

ABC News later posted the following editor’s note at the bottom of a story about Eich:The segment as originally aired on Good Morning America on April 4, 2014, and included on this page, has been updated to correct an error. Video of a demonstration by the Westboro Baptist Church, which is not connected to this story, was inadvertently used in the original segment. We apologize for the error and have removed that video.Instead of the Westboro protesters, the ABCNews.com video now features supporters of Proposition 8.

The network reportedly told the website that similar footage will not be used again in the future.Watch the video as it originally aired on ABC via Newsbusters here.

The Media is Not “Biased” Toward Gay Marriage. It is Promoting It.

Marriage is gay

So … what happened at the March for Marriage last week? 

If you know, you must have been there because the various news media enforced a near-total blackout on the event. 

Let’s think about that for a moment.

Gay marriage is what you might call a “big” story. The Supreme Court was hearing two cases that have the potential to upend 2,000 years of teaching, law and culture concerning the fundamental unit on which all of Western civilization is built. That makes it an important story. Public conversation about this issue is focused and combative. That makes it a ratings grabber. The March for Marriage was the “other” side of the argument finally getting its act together and stepping up to public protest, which made it a man bites dog story, providing a new twist to a story that had already been done to death. That makes it interesting.

So. We have a story that gives a new angle to an important topic, that draws widespread public interest at a time when public interest is already focused on the issue. Sounds like a win-win-win for the media. All they had to do was cover it.

Which they did not.

I repeat: What happened at the March for Marriage last week? I would not be surprised if most of the coverage of that event that you saw was right here on Public Catholic and other Christian blogs and web sites. You may have, as I did, had to go to the Facebook page sponsored by the March for Marriage organizers to get any news of the event.

This was the news story that wasn’t. Because the media is promoting gay marriage. They are hard-selling it. And this march ran counter to their true objectives, which appear to be not so much to inform the public as to propagandize the public. 

There are a number of reasons why public support for gay marriage appears to be reaching a tipping point in favor of it. The continuous, completely biased and often inaccurate media propaganda in favor of it is one of them.

From The World Tribune:

 

By Cliff Kincaid

Significant news came out of last Tuesday’s March for Marriage demonstration in Washington, D.C. But it didn’t make “news” in the major media.

As one who covered the event, it was significant that there were so many members of minority groups. This was not a mostly white crowd. In addition to the presence of black, Hispanic and Asian supporters of traditional marriage, there were some notable Democrats, such as New York State Senator Ruben Díaz, and he let people know he was several minorities in one.

Proponents of traditional marriage participate in the March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. on March 26.  /Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

“I’m Puerto Rican,” he said. “I’m black, with kinky hair. I am a Democrat and I am a senator. I’m against abortion. I’m against same-sex marriage, and I won the last election with 89 percent of the vote.”

J.C. Derrick of World magazine has a good analysis of how the major media, led by The Washington Post, virtually ignored the March for Marriage. But unless you actually see what happened on the ground, as the thousands of traditional marriage supporters held their demonstration, you would miss the true significance of how dishonest the media’s coverage of this issue has become …

… The video excerpts are interesting, in that a self-proclaimed homosexual man, Doug Mainwaring, co-founder of the National Capital Tea Party Patriots, was also shown opposing homosexual marriage …

… His speech at the March for Marriage included the admonition that the Supreme Court should “ignore the media’s relentless, manufactured urgency to institute same-sex marriage.”

That media campaign, as we revealed in a recent column, includes the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA), funded by all of the major news organizations. Natalie Morales of NBC’s Today Show was the host of the March 21 New York fundraiser for the group 

… But the omissions and distortions don’t end there. On the NBC Nightly News on Tuesday night, host Brian Williams claimed that a majority of Americans now support homosexual marriage. But the Reuters Corporation recently released the results of a huge poll finding only 41 percent of America supports it.

The company tried to mask the results by highlighting majority support for benefits for “same-sex couples.” But the story about the poll notes in the fourth paragraph that only 41 percent of people say same-sex couples should be permitted to marry …

… Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council commented, “If 41% was all the support Reuters could scrounge up for same-sex ‘marriage,’ then you know they exhausted every avenue trying to push that number higher — and couldn’t.”

NBC News correspondent Kristen Dahlgren did a story on Tuesday’s Brian Williams newscast on “TV’s impact on the gay marriage debate” which totally ignored the role of NBC News, which like CBS News and Fox News, funds one side of the debate — the NLGJA. (Read more here.) 

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the Accuracy In Media Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at cliff.kincaid@aim.org

Te’o was Pranked? It Appears He Was

Manti Te’o

The weird story of Manti Te’o and the girlfriend who wasn’t gets even weirder.

It appears he may have been pranked — which is too mild a word for it — by a serial hoaxer. The man who committed this hoax had evidently piled up at least six other victims besides Te’o. This hoaxer enlisted friends, including his sister, to help him carry on this hoax.

Today’s technology makes it easy for people to lie convincingly about themselves, which is a warning for all of us.

Trying to make sense of this is a little like trying to untangle a spider’s web. If you’d like to try, you can find video and text with details from ESPN at the ABC News web site here.

The ABC News article says in part:

This timeline of the Manti Te’o hoax appears to begin when Tessi Toluta’u, a Polynesian beauty queen, says she was contacted by “Lennay Kekua” in 2008 in what she now believes was a “catfish” scam.

Te’o, Notre Dame’s star linebacker, began his online relationship with “Kekua” sometime in 2009. But he wasn’t the first person to be contacted online by the fictitious woman.

2008

A person named “Lennay Kekua” sends a Facebook message to Tessi Toluta’u, a Polynesian beauty queen, requesting advice on entering beauty pageants, Toluta’u told ABC News.

Middle of 2008: Toluta’u says she continued to exchange Facebook messages with Kekua. Toluta’u believes Kekua is embellishing her story, saying, “she” is a Stanford volleyball player who is dating then-USC quarterback Mark Sanchez.

WINTER 2009

Manti Te’o tells ESPN,

Kekua befriends Te’o on Facebook in the winter of his freshman year in Notre Dame, he tells ESPN. He messages her back saying, “I’m Manti.” At this point they would begin an on-again, off-again relationship that would resume later with texts and phone calls

SEPT. 27, 2010

Te’o writes Toluta’u, a family friend, Facebook message asking about Kekua, writing, “She keeps talking like she knows everyone and I’m like thinking it’s a prank,” according to his Facebook messages.

Toluta’u responds on Facebook: “So many people are asking about her. Is she causing drama?” (Read more here.)


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