CBS fired a woman who recently joined the company for allegedly leaking a video filmed inside ABC that showed anchor Amy Robach complaining that the network years ago shelved her expose on now-deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
Ashley Bianco worked for ABC as a crash producer for three years before CBS made her a good offer, prompting her to leave ABC and join CBS, she told Megyn Kelly in an interview published on Nov. 8.
An investigation by ABC reportedly identified Bianco as the staffer who accessed the clip and the network contacted CBS, which fired Bianco.
Bianco said she created the video of Robach talking about the Epstein story but it was part of her job. “I just clipped it off. I essentially left it in the system. It never left the system. We do it all the time,” she told Kelly.
“I’m not the whistleblower. I’m sorry to ABC, but the leaker is still inside. I never did any of that. I may have accessed it, but I never leaked it, I never showed it to anyone,” she added.
The news of Bianco’s firing caused outrage among media critics.
“Not only have most networks ignored this major story about ABC News killing the Epstein story years ago, but now CBS News has assisted ABC News in punishing the person who allegedly exposed it,” wrote one.
Not only have most networks ignored this major story about ABC News killing the Epstein story years ago, but now CBS News has assisted ABC News in punishing the person who allegedly exposed it. https://t.co/LFm7jBaibZ
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) November 7, 2019
“Looks like two media outlets conspired to retaliate against a whistleblower. Meanwhile, they’re claiming Resistance talking point that merely identifying Ukraine leaker—even though he’s protected from retaliation—is unacceptable. Interesting,” added another.
“Two news networks colluding to fire someone who leaked a massive bombshell about one of them covering up for a highly connected pedophile,” said another.
“If you go to the media to expose things about the government, you’re protected like the nuclear football. If you go to the media to expose things about the media, you are right and truly [expletive],” said another.
Looks like two media outlets conspired to retaliate against a whistleblower. Meanwhile, they’re claiming Resistance talking point that merely identifying Ukraine leaker — even though he’s protected from retaliation— is unacceptable. Interesting. https://t.co/WqQgMRLbA6
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) November 7, 2019
The footage leaked showed anchor Amy Robach saying ABC “quashed” a story that included an interview with Virginia Roberts, who has accused Epstein of sexually abusing her when she was a minor.
Robach said the network feared losing access to the British royal family.
ABC said the network didn’t kill the story but that it didn’t meet the network’s standards.
Social media users then noted that the network has run a raft of stories in recent years that seemed to have less corroboration, including salacious accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.