CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter on Sunday continued his silence on ABC’s burying of a story about disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.
While Stelter referred to the story in several of his nightly newsletters last week, during the Sunday episode of his show Reliable Sources he continued CNN’s apparent decision to stay silent about the story on air, according to a Washington Examiner analysis.
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In his first newsletter after leaked footage of ABC’s Amy Robach discussing Epstein was released, Stelter did acknowledge the story, primarily to argue that conservatives were weaponizing the video to harm the media. In Friday’s newsletter, CNN’s Oliver Darcy filled in for Stelter and referenced Megyn Kelly’s interview with the producer accused of leaking the video, but did not mention Epstein.
The leaked footage captures a hot-mic incident in which Robach said her interview with alleged Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre was suppressed in response to pressure from external sources, including the British royal family. In the video, Robach says she had the story on Epstein’s sexual trafficking of Roberts three years ago, but was not allowed to air it.
Giuffre claimed Epstein trafficked her to Prince Andrew, a member of the British royal family.
In response to the leaked footage, Robach and ABC News released statements, saying the video shows a “private moment of frustration.” ABC claimed “at the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story.”
Later in the week, Huffington Post contributor Yashar Ali reported that ABC believed they knew who leaked the footage. Ashley Bianco, who left ABC to join CBS News days before Project Veritas published the footage, was swiftly fired by CBS after ABC contacted the network.
Bianco, a former Good Morning America producer, told former NBC host Megyn Kelly on Friday that she vehemently denied leaking the footage.
“I essentially marked it in the system, it never left the system,” Bianco said. “We do it all the time.”
“Part of my job is I’m like a video editor,” Bianco continued. “I clip off moments all the time. I put together anchor reels of them off camera doing funny stuff to use later in the show.”
Epstein, who was facing criminal charges of sex trafficking, was found dead in his Manhattan jail cell in August.