Director Tony Scott did not have brain cancer; ABC says claim ‘appears in doubt’

ABC is backing off of its claim that “Top Gun” director Tony Scott’s suicide was prompted by inoperable brain cancer. Scott’s wife, Donna, emerged to dispute the report, telling investigators the claim was “absolutely false.”

Scott’s body was recovered Sunday around 3 p.m. from Los Angeles Harbor after he apparently parked his car and jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge in San Pedro, Calif.

ABC News needs to do something.

— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) August 21, 2012

#FAIL @ABCNews: Tony Scott Did Not Have Brain Cancer

— Matteo Wyllyamz (@mouselink) August 21, 2012

Tony Scott did NOT have inoperable brain cancer, or for that matter brain cancer at all … this according to Scott’s family, says TMZ

— Joe Cienkowski (@JoeCienkowski) August 21, 2012

Ugh…wish ABC News checked that source before running their story. RT @NikkiFinke Tony Scott Did Not Have Brain Cancer

— Erik Odom (@erikodom) August 21, 2012

The rush to report… RT @NikkiFinke: Tony Scott Did Not Have Brain Cancer

— Howard Sherman (@HESherman) August 21, 2012

ABC= “All BS Channel” – Tony Scott Did Not Have Brain Cancer: ABC Saying Its Claim “Appears In Doubt” via @nikkifinke

— Tom Skoch (@Tom_Skoch) August 21, 2012

Apparently ABC is trying to jump the line in my ‘death of journalism’ theme. Someone needs remedial sourcing education

— Chapman Rackaway (@DocPolitics) August 21, 2012

A report on “Good Morning America” Monday morning that quoted “a source close to” Scott as saying that the director “had inoperable brain cancer” was picked up quickly by other media outlets. ABC amended its headline this evening to read, “Tony Scott Brain Cancer Report Appears in Doubt.”

Just last month, ABC’s Brian Ross rushed to link the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shootings to the Colorado Tea Party after finding the name “James Holmes” on a website. Ross later apologized for the report, which led to the mistakenly identified man having to turn off his phone after receiving death threats. Conservatives falsely smeared by Ross haven’t forgotten.

Quick — get Brian Ross to find a Tea Party member who *did* have brain cancer.

— brian_carnell (@brian_carnell) August 21, 2012

Breaking: Brian Ross IDs director Tony Scott as Tea Partier.

— Just Karl (@justkarl) August 21, 2012

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