Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Wouldn't trust Brian Ross


UPDATE II: ABC is sticking by its flimsy story by pointing out it just said that Hastert "was in the mix" of the congressional investigation surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff. "In the mix" means his name came up. In any investigation, lots of names come up and responsible news organizations don't print them unless there is credible evidence the person is a target. ABC, for some reason, lets Brian Ross overstate stories on a regular basis.

Justice Department denies Hastert is under investigation.

The ABC story that Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert is under investigation by the feds is probably wrong. Why? It was reported by Brian Ross, who has a long and documented history of ratcheting up stories beyond the facts.

My guess is that the feds crossed Hastert's path but aren't investigating him. Somebody told Ross and he twisted that into a national headline. Ross' lede is a good clue. Read the words closely.

Federal officials say the Congressional bribery investigation now includes Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert, based on information from convicted lobbyists who are now cooperating with the government.
"Now includes" doesn't mean he is under investigation.

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