At NewsBusters, Curtis Houck writes, “On Friday afternoon, Megyn Kelly continued her return to the news business in a bombshell interview with Ashley Bianco, the former ABC News producer who was fired after only four days at CBS News for allegedly being behind the tape of ABC’s Amy Robach admitting that the network quashed her reporting about alleged serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein.”
After Kelly recapped what’s transpired thus far in the media’s handling of the Epstein case and his alleged suicide, Kelly introduced Bianco by asking if she was the person who leaked the tape.
Bianco repeatedly denied being the person who shared the Robach tape and, later in the interview, added that she had never even heard of the James O’Keefe-led group until this week:
KELLY: Did you leak the tape?
BIANCO: I did not.
KELLY: Not to anyone?
Bianco explained that, on August 19, she watched Robach’s comments live from her desk and that, according to a colleague, Robach knew her comments were not only broadcasted in-house, but also to “all the affiliates,” so there could be any number of possible suspects.
While there could indeed be “any number of possible suspects,” one of them issued a statement on Friday at the Project Veritas website: “ABC Insider: Why I, alone, released the Amy Robach Epstein tape,” ending with this:
To ABC News:
I sit right here with you all in complete shock. I, like many, are at a loss for words on how this has been handled. Instead of addressing this head-on like the company has in the past, it has spun into a mission of seek-and-destroy. Innocent people that have absolutely nothing to do with this are being hunted down as if we are all a sport. I challenge all of you to actually look inwards and remember why this company engages in journalism. We all hold the First Amendment at the foundation of this company, yet forget its history, its purpose, and its reasoning for even coming into existence to begin with. How lost we are… yearning to be found. I went to Project Veritas for the sole reason that any other media outlet else would have probably shelved this as well. I thank all of them, and James, for seeking truth.
We are all human and mortal, creatures of mistakes and redemption.
The road to redemption favors no soul.
Given all of the flowery language above about “I challenge all of you to actually look inwards and remember why this company engages in journalism. We all hold the First Amendment at the foundation of this company, yet forget its history, its purpose, and its reasoning for even coming into existence to begin with. How lost we are… yearning to be found,” my first thought was this classic 2015 tweet by Iowahawk:
But I’m not sure how accurate that is. In his 2001 book Primetime Propaganda: The True Hollywood Story of How the Left Took Over Your TV, Ben Shapiro correctly noted that ABC’s tone in general was already leaning left in the 1960s, even before CBS’s “Great Rural Purge” of 1971. (CBS’s Walter Cronkite was also an unrepentant leftist throughout the 1960s, and would be equally biased until his retirement as the nightly news anchor in 1981.) But ABC was the first to make it official, by making Clinton flack George Stephanopoulos the face of their news division in the late 1990s.
And by 2016, as Katie Pavlich of Townhall and Fox News told Tucker Carlson on Wednesday, it isn’t just the Clintons’ connection to Epstein that’s causing the network difficulties in their role as operatives with bylines, but Stephanopoulos as well:
“This all comes down to the Clintons, George Stephanopoulos working at ABC and the circle of connections they have there, and protecting not just the Clintons of course, because that is something they are willing to do for political purposes,” Pavlich continued. “According to ABC’s editorial standards, which we keep hearing about, the standards are necessarily about accusers bringing forward evidence on someone who had already been convicted of similar crimes, but instead to protect political people and friends who are beneficial to them and who have very, very close connections to people in their network who claim to be leading journalists, like George Stephanopoulos.”
As the New York Times reported this past July, “A strange thing happened when Jeffrey Epstein came back to New York City after being branded a sex offender: His reputation appeared to rise. In 2010, the year after he got out of a Florida prison, Katie Couric and George Stephanopoulos dined at his Manhattan mansion with a British royal.”
Twitchy notes that “James O’Keefe is also saying Bianco isn’t the source.” If what Bianco told Kelly is the truth, that means that ABC had a staffer fired from CBS who wasn’t the leaker. Or as veteran tweeter “RBPundit” writes at the above Twitchy link, “Holy crap. This just became a full-blown scandal. Of course, media is going to circle the wagons.”