ABC apologized today after an earlier report this morning claiming that the Colorado theatre shooter, James Holmes, might have been a member of a Colorado tea party organisation. ABC reporter Brian Ross said on air during ABC’s “Good Morning America” that there was “a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado, page on the Colorado Tea party site … talking about him joining the Tea Party last year.”
Here’s ABC’s statement on its “incorrect” report:
An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organisation might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect. ABC News and Brian Ross apologise for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.
This single page is apparently where Ross got enough information to report that Jim Holmes could have been a member of the tea party.
The ABC report gave the conservative site Breitbart.com fodder for a counter-report “exclusive,” alleging that the shooter could, in fact, be a registered Democrat. So, they’re blasting ABC’s speculation with … more speculation. From Joel Pollak’s report:
Furthermore, the James Holmes for whom records were obtained by Breitbart News registered as a Democrat on June 14, 2011. He registered from an address in La Plata County, Colorado, and his status is listed as “inactive.”
Pollak adds a reminder:
I remind readers that we have not, as of yet, confirmed that this James Holmes is in fact the suspect. Attempts to reach this James Holmes by telephone have not been successful. In addition, it appears there are several individuals using the same social security number listed to the James Holmes in our documents. We have also obtained documentation for a James Holmes in Aurora, CO whose address may match that of the suspect but whose date of birth and voter registration cannot currently be obtained.
UPDATE (2:10 p.m. ET): Breitbart has now issued an update. Turns out Holmes is probably not a registered Democrat:
Newly-released information on the suspect’s birthdate (which, as indicated in our initial report, was a slight mismatch), combined with new details Breitbart News has obtained about the suspect’s likely addresses, together suggest that the suspect may, in fact, not have been registered to vote.
Here’s the new headline. “Update: Not Registered?”
As if it ever really mattered.