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It Is Shameful That ABC News and CBS News are Punishing the Epstein Leaker

Protestors outside the Federal courthouse on July 8, 2019 in New York. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

It gives me no pleasure to report that I agree, on just this one thing, with Donald Trump Jr., who went on The View Thursday to say he shouldn’t be condemned for naming the Ukraine whistle-blower when ABC News is cracking down on its own Jeffrey Epstein–related leaker.

@DonaldJTrumpJr confronts “The View” about ABC's Epstein cover-up — on ABC.

“ABC is right now chasing down a whistleblower about all of the Epstein stuff because those stories were killed. So, if we're going to have the conversation about the outrage about whistleblowers…” pic.twitter.com/9rppeASUBL

— BlazeTV (@BlazeTV) November 7, 2019

attempt to trick the Washington Post into reporting false rape allegations against Roy Moore, and a truly creepy scheme to lure a CNN reporter onto a boat stocked with sex toys. What footage he has managed to acquire, he has often deceptively edited. But there is no claim that he misrepresented anything about the footage he published earlier this week of ABC News anchor Amy Robach on a hot mic last summer, in which she vents about the Jeffrey Epstein case.

confirming to Yashar Ali that it was searching for Project Veritas’ source, saying in a statement, “We take violations of company policy very seriously, and we’re pursuing all avenues to determine the source of the leak.” Ali also reported that the person who accessed the footage now works at CBS News and has been fired. (I asked ABC News to elaborate on its decision and have yet to hear back.)

@DavidFolkenflik reported months ago. https://t.co/fPbYDHmMsS via @thedailybeast

— julie k. brown (@jkbjournalist) November 5, 2019

November 5, 2019

reported that years ago, Vanity Fair passed on allegations from a named accuser. He also reported extensively on the quashing of the ABC News interview, with a detail that the younger Trump conveniently left out. His father’s loyal defender, Alan Dershowitz, whom Roberts also accused, claimed credit for killing the story, telling NPR, “I did not want to see [Roberts’s] credibility enhanced by ABC,” Dershowitz says. (She is now known as Virginia Giuffre.)

The right-wing fever swamp has bowdlerized the Epstein story, transforming it into one of the media covering up for the left, when it is actually about how men with money and powerful connections purchase impunity and shorten memories. Historically, when news organizations are faced with a powerful man with powerful friends on one side, and an accuser or accusers who might not have a pristine past on the other, we know whose voice matters more. (I feel Robach’s pain.) Some of Epstein’s victims’ accounts had already been made public in various court proceedings, but only Brown took the women seriously enough to spend months investigating and corroborating, leading to the Feds reopening the case against Epstein.

harassing and assaulting a dozen women, but has somehow managed to escape the kind of post–Me Too scrutiny that CBS News and NBC News justifiably received after firing credibly accused anchors. Accountability and transparency are supposed to be journalistic values. Seeking to punish anyone who let the world know how the sausage is made, or that some journalists tried to get the real story — however ill-chosen the platform — is their opposite.

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