ABC News journalist Brian Ross, whose erroneous reporting about former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn caused U.S. stocks to fall sharply, has been suspended without pay for 4 weeks, the network said on Saturday.
Ross reported on Friday that Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, was prepared to testify that Donald Trump instructed him to make contact with Russia during the presidential campaign. ABC News corrected the report hours later, stating that it happened when Trump was already president-elect.
“We deeply regret and apologize for the serious error we made yesterday. The reporting conveyed by Brian Ross during the special report had not been fully vetted through our editorial process,” the network said in a statement. “As a result of our continued reporting over the next several hours, ultimately we determined the information was wrong and we corrected the mistake on air and online.”
ABC News was sharply criticized for its error, which caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to fall up to 350 points before it somewhat recovered. The network received additional criticism for calling the subsequent update a “clarification,” not a correction, on its website and social media.
“It is vital we get the story right and retain the trust we have built with our audience – these are our core principles,” ABC News said in Saturday’s statement. “We fell far short of that yesterday. Effective immediately, Brian Ross will be suspended for four weeks without pay.”
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