ABC was left apologizing Wednesday after it fed claims of media bias with an unfortunate graphic blunder in its special report on President Donald Trump's executive order stopping the separation of the children of illegal aliens from their parents, a separation policy that has drawn widespread and bipartisan criticism.
Instead of the text: "President Signs Executive Order Ending Family Separation Policy," briefly appearing on the ABC screen was: "Manafort Pleads Guilty to Five Charges of Manslaughter." Paul Manafort is the former Trump campaign manager who is in trouble with the law, but for alleged witness tampering in connection with the probe of Russian interference in U.S. elections.
"We regret and apologize for the false lower third graphic that aired during our special report," ABC tweeted. "We are investigating how incorrect information was in our system and how and why it was allowed to air.
That was immediately followed by a stronger mea culpa:
The President used the incident to buttress his claims of a news bias against him, tweeting: "Look what Fake ABC News put out. I guess they had it prepared from the 13 Angry Democrats leading the Witch Hunt! #StopTheBias"
The President has called the investigation into whether there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians, and more broadly into Russian election meddling, a witch hunt, suggesting it was driven by Democrats and liberal media accomplices.