ABC News is re-opening its investigation into news reports based on information from Alexis Debat after he was discovered to have a phony resume and published fake interviews, Bill Carter reports for The New York Times:
ABC News said yesterday that it would begin a second investigation into more than five years of news reports that relied on information from a consultant, Alexis Debat, who has been revealed to be the author of faked interviews.
The interviews, published in a French journal, were said to have been done with prominent political figures, including former President Bill Clinton and Senator Barack Obama.
“We going at this again with a vengeance,” said Brian Ross, the ABC correspondent who was involved in most of the reports that used information provided by Mr. Debat, whom ABC hired in November 2001.
ABC fired Mr. Debat in June after discovering that his claims of having earned a doctorate from the Sorbonne were false. The network then investigated the reports Mr. Debat had participated in and found “they absolutely checked out,” Mr. Ross said.
* * * * *
He told The Washington Post Wednesday that an intermediary had spoken with Mr. Obama. But representatives for Mr. Obama denied that he spoke with anyone connected to Mr. Debat.
Subsequently, other figures whose interviews appeared under Mr. Debat’s byline in the French magazine Politique Internationale have come forward to say they never spoke to him. These included Mr. Clinton; Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg; Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman; Bill Gates, the chairman of Microsoft; and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Read the whole story at the link above. Sure, the interviews were faked, but couldn’t they be accurate nonetheless? Where is Dan Rather when he’s needed? (Please don’t answer that).
NOTE: This is the same guy who claimed the Pentagon has a 3-day bombing of Iran planned.
Interesting the pressure is coming from the NYT, who have had more than their share of “credibility problems” – to put it kindly – recently.
Thanks to Ace for the pointer.