Even as MSNBC continues to take a bizarre victory lap for having promoted a phony Joe Biden scandal that’s falling apart in real time, ABC News has made a mess of its own, with an entirely different phony Biden scandal. This has landed the ABC reporter in hot water and made an even bigger mess of things.
It all started when a woman claimed that Joe Biden had made inappropriate remarks to her during a 2008 event, while she was underage. This allegation was dead on arrival, because there’s widespread documentation that Biden wasn’t even at the event in question. But when ABC News reporter Sasha Pezenik posted a Twitter thread about the non-story, she listed the allegation in the first tweet – where everyone would see it – and then she only acknowledged the falseness of the allegation deeper in the thread, where no one would se it.
This morning Pezenik tweeted this: “Last night I posted a tweet about Vice President Biden. The allegations in my tweet had not been vetted or put through the ABC News standards process. I have since removed the tweet and I apologize for posting it.”
This is a huge and inexcusable error in judgement – but at least she was willing to retract it and apologize. When TV news outlets breathlessly overhype a “scandal” they know is phony, and then they’re called out on it, too often they sanctimoniously double down on the false story instead of backing down. There’s a hashtag pushing for Pezenik to be fired, but we’re not sure we agree with that. She handled this very differently than MSNBC host Chris Hayes, who openly mocked his audience for daring to point out that he mischaracterized a phony Biden scandal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report