ABC News has issued a long overdue public apology to Dr. Frederick K.C. Price. for painting him in an opportunistic light.
Four years ago, ABC News aired a misleading report about the founder of Crenshaw Christian Center. Correspondent John Stossel reported the story called "Enough!" on the television network's popular 20/20 and Good Morning America programs in March 2007.
The premise of the segment was to explore ministers of large churches that use donations
to support their lavish lifestyles. ABC aired a 10-second video clip of a sermon during which Price said, "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."
The problem is ABC took the video out of context to support its story. Had ABC News broadcast the full context of his remarks, its audience would have heard and seen the pastor saying: "Well I was pointing out that there is such a thing as bad success."
ABC failed to air Price explaining that the hypothetical rich man's wife was unfaithful, his children were on drugs and his friends only liked him for his money.
Angela Evans, president of Crenshaw Christian Center and Dr. Price's daughter, said watching the ABC story was really devastating to the family and the church: "We couldn't believe that such a highly respected company as ABC News would do such a thing."
Now, ABC is admitted that it misled its audience and failed to live up to its own standards.
"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," said Kerry Smith of ABC News in a 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."
The public apology gratified Price. "We had faith that this matter was in God's hands," he said. "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."
Anthony M. Glassman of Glassman, Browning, Saltsman & Jacobs, Price's attorney, said ABC's statement was a significant admission for the venerable news organization, a division of the American Broadcasting Company, which is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company.
"ABC has gone to unprecedented lengths to apologize to Dr. Price and set the record straight," Glassman said. "Dr. Price and his family are pleased that ABC has acknowledged its error, and its failure to sufficiently investigate the video. I am sure that the members of his congregation, who were greatly upset by the ABC story, will be pleased as well."
View the video of Price's entire 53-minute sermon, which was originally televised in 1997 on the Lifetime Network. The relevant part of the sermon begins at 13 minutes and 20 seconds.
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