A PPL News Story by Justin Marple
In recent memory, mainstream news organizations have given considerable attention to the sex abuse scandals of the Roman Catholic church. Now the same media giants have been accused of covering up for alleged pedophiles when it suited them. The primary perpetrator was Jeffrey Epstein. His story and his death in prison have been headline news stories lately. However, at least one media outlet sat on the story for three years.
In 2016, ABC News reporter Amy Robach interviewed Virginia Roberts whose narrative implicated Epstein, Prince Andrew, Alan Dershowitz, and Bill Clinton. This is all according to a hot mic where Robach said that the network killed the story because of multiple reasons including pressure from Prince Andrew. ABC also feared that carrying the story would lead Kate and Prince William to back out of their interview. Then an anonymous whistleblower leaked the hot mic clip to Project Veritas.
ABC News and Amy Robach have released statements to Project Veritas in the wake of this leak. The network's statement says that “not all of our reporting met our standards to air” and says that they have continued investigating and that the results “led to a two hour documentary and 6-part podcast that will air in the new year.” Robach's statement says that she was frustrated they couldn't get enough corroborating evidence for the network's editorial standards to air the piece.
A twist in the story came as ABC News identified Ashley Bianco as someone who had accessed the hot mic clip. Bianco was a producer and video editor at the network when she cut the clip and saved it in the system. After four days of working at CBS News, she was fired when ABC informed their competitor that Bianco accessed the clip. Since then Megyn Kelly interviewed Bianco who says that she didn't leak the clip, that making such marks in the system was her job, and that she did it for “office gossip.” Project Veritas has also publicly stated that Bianco wasn't the leaker.
Twitter has been abuzz with the story—often with the hashtag #EpsteinCoverup. Several people have noted that ABC News had no problem airing uncorroborated allegations made against then-Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. The comparison leads many to conclude that a double-standard is being employed. Also noteworthy are tweets asking, 'What happened three years ago?' The inference these tweets expect the reader to make is that the network squashed the story because of the 2016 Presidential election aspirations of Hillary Rodham Clinton. Newsweek and The Hill have done articles about Megyn Kelly's interview of Bianco but most of the reporting has been on alternative news sites like The Daily Wire and the Fox News Channel. The latter has also observed that the other networks ignored the story and that media watchdogs shamed CNN into mentioning it.
Media conglomerates aren't the only big business that has come under fire for covering up for pedophiles. In 2018, a Live Action headline said that Planned Parenthood has been covering up child sexual abuse for ten years. ABC, CBS, and other mainstream news networks never picked up the story.
All of these things have prompted reflection on social media and other unconventional outlets concerning the state of investigative journalism today. The news satire site The Babylon Bee likes to say that they are far more accurate than the mainstream media networks. One of their most recent satirical pieces is called, “New Emmy Category Announced: Best Covering for a Pedophile.” Maybe next we will read that the mainstream networks are also competing to see who can best avoid investigating Planned Parenthood. After all, it is not just a local crime story like Gosnell.
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