Wright, a veteran correspondent who has reported from Beirut, Gaza, St. Peter’s Square and the Congo, was suspended by the Walt Disney-owned news outlet Tuesday after Project Veritas, a conservative organization that has made a name for itself by recording conversations with TV-news journalists in candid moments and releasing leaked video, ran a video of Wright talking openly about his opinions on President Trump and the political news cycle. In some of the moments show on the video, Wright discusses how ABC News covers candidates and even offers his own opinions on President Donald Trump as well as the candidacy of Senator Elizabeth Warren.
“Any action that damages our reputation for fairness and impartiality or gives the appearance of compromising it harms ABC News and the individuals involved. David Wright has been suspended, and to avoid any possible appearance of bias, he will be reassigned away from political coverage when he returns,” ABC News said in a statement Wednesday. A spokesperson declined to say how long the correspondent’s suspension would last.
Project Veritas has appeared to put ABC News in its cross hairs in recent months. In November, the organization leaked video of ABC News anchor Amy Robach visibly frustrated about not being able to get reporting aired about disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein. At the time, ABC News said the reporting did not meet its standards for air, and Robach subsequently said she was caught in “a private moment of frustration.”
But the news division has been under some new pressures. In 2017, the news unit suspended Brian Ross, an investigative correspondent, for four weeks, after he reported that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was instructed to contact Russian officials during the campaign period by then-candidate Donald Trump. The report prompted a massive slump in the stock market, but was inaccurate. ABC News at the time said the reporting had been vetted internally before being released on air. Ross left ABC News in July of 2018.
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