ABC News Apologizes for Report Linking ‘Dark Knight’ Shooter to Tea Party

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After correspondent Brian Ross mentioned possible ties between Jim Holmes and the political group, the network corrects its report on television and online.

ABC News has issued a clarification after chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross mistakenly linked the gunman who killed 14 theater-goers to the Colorado Tea Party.

During the network’s breaking news coverage of the shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises, Ross stated that there is a “Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado page on the Colorado Tea Party site as well, talking about him joining the Tea Party last year. Now we don’t know if this is the same Jim Holmes, but this is Jim Holmes of Aurora, Colorado.”

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Later, Ross clarified his reporting, saying: “An earlier report that I had was incorrect that he was connected with the Tea Party in fact that’s a different Jim Holmes. He was not connected to the Tea Party and what we do know about him is he is a 24 year old white male who went to Colorado for a PHD.”

ABC appended a correction to the story on the network’s Blotter web page.

“An earlier ABC News broadcast report suggested that a Jim Holmes of a Colorado Tea Party organization might be the suspect, but that report was incorrect,” the statement said. “ABC News and Brian Ross apologize for the mistake, and for disseminating that information before it was properly vetted.”