ABC’s Peter Jennings Blamed President Bush for Failing to Protect the U.S. Terrorist AttacksFiction!



Summary of eRumor:

On September 11, the day of the “Attack on America” by terrorists, Peter Jennings allegedly said that President Bush should “quit hiding behind the Secret Service, come out and face the nation and explain the ‘President’s failure’ to protect the country.”

The Truth:

This eRumor was broadcast from several sources, but the most commonly-circulated version on the Internet was from a retired U.S. Army General who called for a boycott of ABC.

The story was given propulsion when Rush Limbaugh talked about it as well on his nationally syndicated radio program.

ABC says the harsh criticism of the president that is attributed to Jennings did not happen, although Jennings did have questions on the day of the attacks about where Bush was and what he was doing.

Rush Limbaugh researched it and could not find that Jennings said it either and realized that the quote had come from an email from a friend of his.

Rush says that what did take place was a comment by Peter Jennings that followed one of President Bush’s statements to the nation about the terrorist attacks.  He is quoted as saying, “Well, some presidents are just better at it than others.”  

Howard Kurtz dealt with this in an article in the Washington Post.

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2001 12:24 PM Subject: Boycott of ABC

I was appalled by the comments of Peter Jennings this morining referring to President Bush. His comment that President Bush shoud “quit hiding behind the Secret Service, come out and face the Nation and explain ‘The President’s Failure’ to protect the country from these terrorists attacks.”

As far as I am concerned, this is at best “the lowest form of attack and unworthy of any news organization” and at worst could be considered an act of “Treason.” I want you to know that I am asking all of my firends and acquaintances to join me in a boycott of ABC-all programs as all times-and will not watch your network again as long as Peter Jennings is an ABC employee. While people are removed from the air for using “politically incorrect” words the words of Peter Jennings are orders of magnitude more egregious and offensive than any of these other “offenses.” I request, no I demand that you fire Peter Jennings forwith for his lack of journalistic integrity and his attack on the President during this National Crisis.

Sincerely, Billy M. Thomas LTG (Ret), US Army 2387 Spanish Oak Terrace Colorado Springs, CO 80920 (719) 330-4818