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Phony interviewer again investigated by ABC News

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.


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Comments (9)

I don't what the big... (Below threshold)

I don't what the big fuss is about..

Keep up the great work!... (Below threshold)

Keep up the great work!

ps. Some sites for you
[edited for spamming content - jra]

Good job, Steve. Way to le... (Below threshold)

Good job, Steve. Way to let us all know about hidden gems like Drudge and WaTimes. Hey, have you heard about this one?!


mantis ~ "Steve" also slipp... (Below threshold)

mantis ~ "Steve" also slipped in his own site in the list . . . I've edited the links out to comply with our "no spam in the comments" policy.

Sic semper spammerus!

"We going at this ... (Below threshold)
"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.
What, it took 6 years for ABC's ace reporter Brain Ross to decipher the definition of "vengeance?"

Maybe he should have checked with the U.N. who discovered the fraud in 2005.

According to the report, people knew this "news consultant" was lying all the way back in 2005 when a UN official discovered that a Debat interview with Kofi Annan was faked and a later one was really an Annan speech given at Princeton University reworked as if it were an interview with the UN chief.

Makes you wonder how many o... (Below threshold)

Makes you wonder how many other Alexis Debat's / Jayson Blair's, etc. there are out there, and how often media outlets are accepting their fabrications without due care.

Scott Beauchamp and I worke... (Below threshold)
Capt.Jamil Hussein:

Scott Beauchamp and I worked with Alexis and we found him to be indubitably credible. Why're you talkin' shit about Alex, anyway?

The whole ABC network is a ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

The whole ABC network is a fruad i mean you cant trust their lies they call news

Dude, the pentagon has a 3 ... (Below threshold)

Dude, the pentagon has a 3 day plan to bomb the UK somewhere. I fail to see what the problem is. There are plans to obliterate every country in the world that are updated on a somewhat regular basis(think by the decade) with the more likely ones being updated more often. This isn't new news.






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