Nov
25
2014

ABC and Darren Wilson's 'Serious Injury'

ABC-serious-wilsonSupporters of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson have always claimed that part of what justified his shooting and killing Michael Brown was the fact that he had been seriously wounded in a confrontation with the unarmed teenager.  Some right-wing outlets went so far as to claim Wilson suffered a fractured eye socket. But they weren't the only ones reporting this kind of bogus information.

On the August 20 broadcast of  ABC World News, anchor Diane Sawyer told viewers:

Tonight, we are hearing a source close to the police officer who shot Brown. And this source says the policeman's face was seriously injured. And the source says that could change this case.

The story was picked up by correspondent Jim Avila, who said that there was new information–

including, ABC News has learned, a hospital picture of Officer Wilson's face, not yet released. A source close to Wilson says the officer suffered a serious facial injury during the initial struggle at the patrol car window.

So ABC's report was apparently based on what a friend of Wilson said could be seen in a hospital photo? Yesterday, the grand jury released photos of Wilson taken right after he shot Michael Brown. Here is what Wilson looked like:

wilson
wilson

Will ABC tell viewers that it spread an unfounded rumor that there was photographic evidence that Darren Wilson was seriously hurt? Or do they consider the photos above as confirmation of what they reported?

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.