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ABC News apologizes to Crenshaw Christian Center founder for misleading video [Updated]

Price Four years after airing a misleading video segment about Crenshaw Christian Center founder Dr. Frederick K.C. Price, ABC News has issued a public apology.

In a story called "Enough!" that aired on ABC's "20/20" and "Good Morning America" in March 2007, ABC News and then-correspondent John Stossel investigated whether ministers of several large congregations had used donations to support lavish lifestyles. The segment featured a 10-second video clip taken from a previously televised sermon that showed Price saying: "I live in a 25-room mansion, I have my own $6-million yacht, I have my own private jet and I have my own helicopter and I have seven luxury automobiles."

In reality, Price did not own any of those things: He was preaching about a hypothetical person who was rich but spiritually unsatisfied. "Friends, to me that's bad success," Price added during the sermon, though that part was cut from the ABC News segment.

Newsmagazines have faced battles over how their subjects are portrayed before: NBC's "Dateline" issued an on-air apology for staging a car-truck crash, and ABC News and "20/20" went to court over accusations that the network committed fraud in a hidden-camera expose alleging unsanitary conditions at Food Lion's supermarkets.

"ABC News apologizes for any harm caused to you as a result of its broadcast of a video clip that ABC News stated was of you speaking about yourself when in fact you were talking about a hypothetical person," Kerry Smith of ABC News said in her statement to Price. "ABC News regrets that it did not conduct sufficient investigation of the clip after receiving it to establish its correct context.  By presenting the footage out of context, ABC News misled its audience and failed to meet its own standards, which ABC deeply regrets." 

"We had faith that this matter was in God's hands," Price replied in a statement. "And once again God has shown us that when we trust in Him and act in good conscience we are led to the truth, and to a place of abundant joy."

[Updated at 2:08 PM: A source familiar with the situation says that ABC News made a similar apology on the air in 2007, but issuing a written apology was required as part of a recent legal settlement between ABC News and Price.]

-- Melissa Maerz

Photo: Dr. Frederick K.C. Price.  Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (24)

Why did this take ABC 4 years to investigate and apologize? Sad.

Video clip was definitely misleading. In reality, his mansion is only 12 rooms, his yacht worth no more than $3 million and he owns only three luxury cars. The helicopter he travels around in? He leases it.

Stossel works for FOX News now.

He fits in well.

I'm waiting for the usual "blame the lib-rul media!" ranters to appear on here ... oh, wait. John Stossel, a converstive icon, made this false report.
(Now, before anyone jumps to conclusions my point, I will state that argument is a red herring and will explain why):
This probably happened because ABC News -- like so many struggling enterprises whose wealthy corporate owners don't want to put one extra cent into a solid, principled news gathering division -- no doubt didn't have a staff person double-check this tape.
Hence the mistake. Most unfortunate, and that apology was long overdue.

Dr. Price is an honorable man and it was a disgrace to have such a large conglomerate like ABC news and 20/20 make mockery of his sincere efforts towards the body of Christ and all people who may need to hear a word of salvation to help them in this life. It would have been simple for the conglomerate to check and re-check their sources like they do on a regular basis before reporting the most mundane stories, but instead they decided to report incorrect information that damaged the efforts built by this man for over 50 years. Even after they were asked to present a decent apology, they did not, so in the minds of millions of people a dishonest picture of a sincere and honest man was painted. Shame on ABC new and 20/20! As a Christian, I know this was the work of the devil, but as we can see, in print, an apology has been made, so I also know true victory was given to the rightful victor – Dr. Price and family. However, damage has been done, so restitution must be made. In the future ABC and other news conglomerates, please remember that respect is always in order. You expect it and so do the rest of us.

The lamestream media persecution of christians continues unabated. But god forbid anyone criticize the muslims: cnn, msnbc, abc, nbc and cbs will trip over each other to crucify the offender on the 6PM news.

@ Tikkaenen:

In the television-infotainment world ratings top veracity each and every time. Arrogance is the only reason it took ABC (aka Disney) 4 years to apologize.

@ Alex:

Where does your information come from? Will we hear a retraction from you in less than 4 years?

"Why did this take ABC 4 years to investigate and apologize? Sad."

Don't blame ABC, it was in God's hands.

Four years ABC con man..........

Stossel has always seemed to me to be a sanctimonious moron.

John Stossel was once honorable. He sold out to the corporate interests long ago.
Now he lives in the world of Fox News, and lies lies lies.

There is nothing sinful about being successful and Dr. Price should be able to reap the rewards of his dedicated work. He's not the multimillionare spoken of in this hypotheical situation but he is will off.

What was the rush?

ABC was wrong but that sure doesn't make this guy and the rest of the "name it and claim it, blab it and grab it" types right

Good as far it goes, I suppose, but on principle I deeply resent so-called apologies along the lines of "we regret any harm caused" when it's woefully apparent that actual harm was caused. Or similarly, non-apologies like "I'm sorry if you got offended".

Stossel, then reporter at ABC was responsible for that misleading segment against a black preacher. Stossel is a known right-winger now comfortably esconced at Fox News.

And pretty typical for Stossel's work. i guess I'll head over to YouTube and watch the footage of him being slapped down by the wrestler a few times more.

ABC and Stossel were premeditated in their broadcast. Shame on them. But who's surprised, really.

However, Dr.Price does lead one bodacious life. Not the lifestyle of a typical mini$ter of Chri$t by any means.

Just reporting the truth would've been incriminating enough.

Are we sure this wasn't a Zionist plot to get Stossel and Helen Thomas? Oh, wait; does that make no sense? Gimme a break. If it's facts that matter to you, you're on the wrong channel.

GOD hate a lying tongue. He also said, all liars will be cast into the lake of fire and brimstone. He said for us to worship him in spirit and truth.

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