More Questions for ABC

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


See my report on questions about how ABC handled the Debat matter here. In the meantime, I have more questions for ABC:

How did ABC choose to use Debat as a consultant, and also on the blog as a reporter, also sometimes citing him as a source?

Did ABC inform its viewers and readers that Debat had a Pentagon contract? How clear was ABC in telling readers/viewers about Debat’s multiple paid affiliations?

What other consultants have this sort of arrangement with ABC? Will ABC be more transparent in the future about whether its sources are being paid, what are the relevant other potential conflicts of interest in terms of paid other appointments and contracts?

Why is ABC only sending an investigator to Pakistan to investigate Debat’s reports now? History shows that people who misreprsent their resumes tend to misrepresent lots of other things as well. Why do my sources say ABC did not conduct a more extensive investigation of his work when it asked him to resign back in June? Why had it not contacted until now other reporters who could help investigate his reports?

In vetting or second sourcing the information that Alexis brought to the network, were ABC News resources outside of the Ross unit deployed? e.g. the Justice, State or Pentagon correspondents?

Did Alexis ever appear on camera as an expert/analyst for a story on which he was also the source?

How was he hired? Who introduced him to ABC?

How is ABC investigating the information that Alexis reported from Iran and Pakistan? Is it being investigated by the Ross unit only or reporters outside of that unit?

One good thing has according to sources apparently come of the recent reports, including Riche’s. Finally, three months after dismissing him, ABC finally appears to be undertaking a serious investigation of the accuracy of the reports. It’s just curious it didn’t do so when it learned of misrepresentations with his CV back in June when it asked him to resign.

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate