It’s now a familiar knee-jerk reaction: The tea party movement is blamed in the immediate aftermath of a horrific tragedy.
The end result is also familiar: Those suggesting the tea party is responsible are proven wrong.
Brian Ross of ABC News became the latest person to end up with egg on his face after news of the Batman shooting massacre in Colorado broke Friday. On ABC’s “Good Morning America” Friday morning, Ross rushed to report that someone with the same name as 24-year-old suspect James Holmes was listed as a member of the Colorado Tea Party Patriots.
“There’s a Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colo., page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well, talking about him joining the tea party last year,” Ross told host George Stephanopoulos. “Now, we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes. But it’s Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colo.”
“The mainstream media’s handling of this situation is reckless, bordering on journalistic malpractice,” Colorado Tea Party spokesman Jason Worley said Friday. “I can’t help but wonder if the very common name had been listed somewhere on an Occupy [Wall Street] website if the media would have been as quick to beg the question.”
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