Networks Refuse to Mention Latest Fast and Furious Development

On Wednesday night, the major broadcast networks ignored the latest news from the Fast and Furious scandal as a federal judge ruled that the Department of Justice (DOJ) must turn over a list of documents regarding the botched gun-running scheme that was formally called Operation Fast and Furious.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson ruled in court hearing Wednesday that the DOJ will have until October 1 to produce what is known as a privilege log to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. According to an article posted on The Blaze

"The judge’s order requires the department to produce all non-privileged documents and a detailed description of privileged documents. The committee will have until Oct. 17 to object to any withheld documents, according to a committee news release. In 2012, President Barack Obama invoked executive privilege to shield Attorney General Eric Holder from having to provide the documents to the House Committee. Nevertheless, the Republican-controlled House, with the help of 17 Democrats, voted to hold Holder in contempt of Congress for obstructing the probe."

An article from Politico noted that the list is not the actual documents and characterized it as a win for the Obama administration, but Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), who serves as the chairman of that House committee, said in a statement that he was “grateful and pleased” with the order. He stated that it “will bring us closer to finding out why the Justice Department hid behind false denials in the wake of reckless conduct that contributed to the violent deaths of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens.”

Under the scheme, federal agents allowed some 2,000 weapons purchased illegally to move from the United States to Mexico in hopes of tracking Mexican drug cartels. The operation failed when they lost control of many of them and was halted when one of the guns was found at the scene of Terry’s murder in December 2010 just over the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has been investigating the failed operation and the DOJ’s actions throughout its duration since 2011.

Wednesday’s news is only the latest development in the Fast and Furious scandal that the major broadcast networks have ignored. In one example, the three major broadcast networks of ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted only seven minutes to a scathing report about Fast and Furious in September 2012, but spent 88 minutes on the tape of then-GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in which he made a series of statements about 47 percent of the American electorate.

 


While the networks refused to cover the story, the ruling by Judge Jackson (who is an Obama appointee) was mentioned in a 48-second news brief on Wednesday night's Lou Dobbs Tonight on Fox Business Network (FBN).

Instead of covering the order from Judge Jackson, CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley had a news brief on possible overlapping with neantherals and human beings that may have led to the two living and breeding together while ABC World News with Diane Sawyer mentioned a band of stowaway monkeys that found their way onto a cargo ship. 

Over on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, news that future performers at halftime of the Super Bowl will reportedly have to pay the National Football League (NFL) to be selected was aired instead of even a news brief on Fast and Furious.

The transcript from the news brief on Lou Dobbs Tonight on August 20 is transcribed below.

Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs Tonight

August 20, 2014

7:15:03 p.m. Eastern

LOU DOBBS: A court victory in the search for answers in Fast and Furious gun-running scandal. A federal judge today ruled that Justice Department must turnover documents related to the Fast and Furious scandal, by the first of October. The Chairman of House Oversight Committee, Congressman Darrell Issa, said those documents quote, “will bring us closer to finding out why the justice deputy hid behind false denials in wake of reckless conduct that contributed to violent deaths of Patrol Agent Brian Terry and countless Mexican citizens. We should also point out the judge in this case, appointed by President Obama, the decision required two years for the judge to render a decision.

Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck
Curtis Houck is a news analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division