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

ABC News Apologizes after ‘Inadvertently’ Conflating Ex-Mozilla CEO with Westboro Baptist Church April 11, 2014


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.

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 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.

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5 responses to “ABC News Apologizes after ‘Inadvertently’ Conflating Ex-Mozilla CEO with Westboro Baptist Church”

  1. Nothing is done “inadvertantly” in the media biz, it is ALL calculated for maximum emotional impact. This was intentional, and ought to prompt a lawsuit of defamation (tho it likely wouldn’t go anywhere). On the flip side, can you imagine a news piece on a pro-gay rights businessman, featuring a supplemental video zeroing in on wild S&M-sporting activists shouting and carrying on at a rainbow parade, followed by claims that it was an “inadvertant pairing” and didn’t reflect the actual opinion the producers have of the businessman?? This is as ridiculous as that would be. :p

  2. This whole Westboro Baptist Church meme has gone over board. They are a small insignificant bunch of whackos who just gather attention. And the media is more than willing to give them attention because it reflects poorly on Christians in general.

  3. There are two possibilities that I see to explain this act of defamation:
    (1) It was not at all inadvertent — and the “apology” was a lie.
    (2) It really was “inadvertent” — in that the persons who chose and approved the use of the video for that particular news piece were utterly clueless about the distinctions between groups and stated viewpoints and objectives and methods. Which tells us so very much about ABC news staff in particular and the corporate media imperial subjects in general.

  4. Now that’s a new one on me. You have to give the swine credit for being inventive swine.

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