Sloppy CBS Claims Dick Cheney 'Owned' Halliburton Subsidiary

On Monday’s Early Show on CBS, substitute news anchor Chris Wragge exaggerated Vice President Cheney’s business resume. Instead of merely being CEO of Halliburton (and its then-subsidiary Kellogg, Brown & Root), he was said to be the owner of the entire company:

A report to be released as early as today finds that dozen of U.S. troops in Iraq got sick from contaminated water. The water was supplied by the military contractor KBR, once owned by Vice President Dick Cheney. The report said soldiers experienced skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using discolored, foul-smelling water.

To show how CBS script writers might have exaggerated the facts, here’s the lead from the AP story on the same subject by Larry Margasak:

Dozens of U.S. troops in Iraq fell sick at bases using "unmonitored and potentially unsafe" water supplied by the military and a contractor once owned by Vice President Dick Cheney's former company, the Pentagon's internal watchdog says.A report obtained by The Associated Press said soldiers experienced skin abscesses, cellulitis, skin infections, diarrhea and other illnesses after using discolored, smelly water for personal hygiene and laundry at five U.S. military sites in Iraq.

Halliburton let go of KBR last year. Even AP didn’t bother to list Cheney’s term of service or his title. He was board chairman and CEO from 1995 to July 2000, when he accepted the vice-presidential nod from George W. Bush.The only other AP sentence mentioning Cheney merely said:

Halliburton is the oil services conglomerate that Cheney once led. Congressional Democrats long have complained that KBR has benefited from its former ties to Cheney. 
Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis