CBS News Falsely Claims to Be First Reporting Fast & Furious

Almost alone among the mainstream journalists, CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson has been reporting on the Fast & Furious scandal. For that she should be commended. However she wasn't the first to report on it. In fact much of her information was provided to her by David Codrea (photo), the Gun Rights Examiner at Examiner.com and citizen journalist Mike Vanderboegh of the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog. That is why it was so grating when Attkisson wrote this jarring sentence in a report about the House Oversight Committee scheduling a contempt vote against Attorney General Eric Holder:

The story was exposed nationally for the first time by CBS News in February 2011.

Um, no. That is true only for exposure on national television and as Mike Vanderboegh put it:

Considering that CBS got to the whistleblowers through David and me (and we have the emails to prove it), that last statement is a cheeky bit of hubris.

Codrea is also rightly irked at CBS News incorrectly grabbing the credit for being the first to break the Fast & Furious scandal story:

Vanderboegh was the first to report in late December 2010 about ATF allowing guns to be walked to Mexico and a connection to a murdered Border Patrol agent. By the time Attkisson presented her first report, this column and Vanderboeghs’ blog had produced 157 posts documenting everything from retaliation against agents to the Mexican government being intentionally left in the dark, and much more. It was through those efforts that Senate Judiciary Committee investigators were publicly pressured to look into the matter and that the national media first began to notice the story (Associated Press actually had it three weeks before the first CBS interview aired).

The CBS report was further preceded by extensive communications with Attkisson and her producer, both via email and by telephone, throughout the week before their first report, as well as behind-the-scenes communications with information sources and their trusted confidantes to advise them that it looked like CBS News was the best shot for network television exposure. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this has never been publicly acknowledged...

As you can see, the emails between Codrea and Attkisson have been quite extensive which makes the lack of acknowledgement of the aid given her even more grating. However, since Attkisson deserves praise for her coverage of this story, consider this a very gentle nudge to Sharyl (and CBS News) to do the right thing and give credit where credit is more than due.

Nudge! Nudge!

P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick
P.J. Gladnick is a freelance writer and creator of the DUmmie FUnnies blog.