YOU KNOW, MAYBE IT IS RECKLESS DISREGARD JUST PUTTING BRIAN ROSS ON THE AIR: I had forgotten this libel case involving Brian Ross until reader Rich Andrews sent the link. Key bit:
Judge Crocker said Wednesday that he was convinced the NBC News reporters, Brian Ross and Ira Silverman, had ”serious subjective doubts as to the truth of the broadcasts” but went ahead anyway.
Frankly, at this point, just hiring the guy should send your libel insurance carriers into a frenzy. And would you want to be deposed about why you went ahead and hired him, after such a record of untrustworthiness? . . .
UPDATE: How bad is Brian Ross? Even Wonkette is calling for him to be fired:
Jesus fucking Christ on a hotplate. Brian Ross and his BLOTTER INVESTIGATIVE TEAM googled for a few minutes and didn’t bother trying to confirm anything and wow, huh, look at that, he was wrong. . . .
Tea Party people on the Internet are furious over this, and they have every right to be, because it’s an egregious, early error that will color the impressions of people no matter how frequently or aggressively it’s retracted. Can Brian Ross! Put him in the goddamn street. He is constantly wrong, at reporting on national television.
Would you write a libel policy for an outlet that employed him?
ANOTHER UPDATE: More anger.
MORE: Is ABC News’ Brian Ross Trustworthy? No. Next question?
STILL MORE: Reader Chad Hunter points out that the libel verdict was overturned. “In a unanimous decision, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit found that there was insufficient evidence to show that NBC News reporters had either deliberately lied or recklessly disregarded the truth, the legal standard that applies when libel suits are brought by public figures.” Hmm. Some people would nonetheless be chastened by such an experience. Ross not so much, apparently.