After ABC News erroneously broadcast a report that the suspect in the Colorado “Dark Knight” theater shooting may have been connected to the Tea Party, the network has issued an apology.
“An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect,” ABC News indicated in a statement. “ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.”
ABC News had issued an earlier statement saying that the report was “incorrect” but had not included any apology in that statement.
Federal officials had informed news outlets that the suspect’s name was James Holmes.
ABC’s apology came after Ross responded to the host of “Good Morning America,” George Stephanopoulos, who began the television segment with the following introduction: “You’ve been investigating the background of Jim Holmes here. You found something that might be significant.”
“There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year,” Ross said. “Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.”
The page to which Ross referred has no identifiable information on it about the person, other than the individual’s name.
Ross later returned to the air to rectify his error.
“An earlier report that I had was incorrect, that he was connected with the Tea Party, in fact that’s a different Jim Holmes,” Ross said. “He was not connected to the Tea Party and what we do know about him is he is a 24-year-old white male who went to Colorado for a PhD.”