CNN's Anderson Cooper ran a critical segment on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich's old ethics charges of violating tax law and lying to the House Ethics Committee. Only at the very end did Cooper acknowledge that Gingrich was vindicated by the IRS on charges of tax violation.
Cooper opened his show with the story. "We begin tonight 'Keeping Them Honest' with Newt Gingrich who's skyrocketing the polls and downplaying his past which includes the distinction of being the first House speaker in history to be reprimanded for ethics violations," the CNN anchor reported.
Cooper didn't note that while Gingrich was the first House Speaker to be reprimanded, Democrat congressman Jim Wright – just a few years before – was the first House Speaker to resign over a scandal. Wright tendered his resignation from Congress in 1989 while under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
Gingrich was found guilty of lying by Special Counsel James Cole – who is now Deputy Attorney General of Obama's Justice Department, a fact Cooper failed to provide. Gingrich had admitted to signing "inaccurate, incomplete and unreliable statements" for the Ethics Committee but added that he did so unwittingly, or with no intention to mislead. He was eventually reprimanded by the House anyway.
While the three major networks did not report Gingrich's vindication at the hands of the IRS, CNN's Brooks Jackson provided a strongly-worded report of the findings.
"Newt Gingrich's oh-so-controversial college course that he started back in 1993 before he was Speaker. Remember how Democrats denounced it?" Jackson began. "Tax fraud? Well, never mind. After a three-and-a-half year examination, the Internal Revenue Service – Bill Clinton's IRS – has issued an official finding: no violation of tax laws."
Compare Jackson's 1999 report for CNN with Cooper's treatment of his ethics charges: