CBS Scoops Contempt Vote, Claims Credit for Nationally Breaking Fast and Furious

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CBS Scoops Contempt Vote, Claims Credit for Nationally Breaking Fast and Furious

USA –-( The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has scheduled a vote for next week on finding Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for noncompliance with information demands about the Fast and Furious “gunwalking” operation, Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News revealed this morning. If the measure passes, “the matter would likely be scheduled for a full House vote,” she reports.

This has been confirmed by a press release from the committee put out today assigning a June 20 date to “consider” the move.

The news will be welcomed by those who believe Holder and the Justice Department have been stonewalling congressional investigators and that a timid Republican leadership has been dragging its feet on getting serious about consequences. It’s another in an extensive series of noteworthy scoops Attkisson has achieved since her first report, an exclusive interview with whistle-blowing ATF Agent John Dodson, which established her as a premier reporter among the few journalists electing to treat this story as one of national importance that merited balanced reporting.

That makes a repeated claim all the more confounding.

“The story was exposed nationally for the first time by CBS News in February 2011,” Attkisson writes.

“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,” citizen journalist Mike Vanderboegh observed on his Sipsey Street Irregulars blog. 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, either by CBS in their reporting, or by Fox News, another recipient of such information and background support (although columnist and author Michelle Malkin did offer name credit on the Hannity program).

The last time CBS News claimed the Fast and Furious story was “first exposed last year by our own Sharyl Attkisson,” Vanderboegh emailed her about it.

She replied that she was not the one who wrote that terminology but the ones who did meant breaking the story through “traditional journalism.” She assured him she’d assigned credit “when there’s a discussion of how the story got going”  and acknowledged “There’s no doubt you all were the first resource and gatherers in this story… way before any mainstream media/journalists.”

In other words, it’s not a real story unless it’s done by “authorized journalists.” Unless you work in that milieu, you’re not a recognized investigative reporter; you’re a “gatherer”. But the fact remains this has never been brought up in any CBS News story, so what is meant by “discussions” is up for interpretation, but certainly nowhere with any significant reach where anyone outside of the conversation would ever know. And in this latest story, under her byline, she did “write that terminology.”

For the record, as a proud “unauthorized journalist,” this correspondent nonetheless has qualifications that include a Bachelor of Science degree in journalism, over 13 years of writing professionally for national magazines, masthead credit as a press-credentialed field editor for a national magazine, this national column, and even a national award or two, as well as being a weekly contributor to a nationally-syndicated radio program and a frequent guest on a national television program.

While it’s understood that the establishment media does not consider those meager accomplishments “professional” enough to be part of the exclusive club, and that even Wikipedia has steadfastly deleted all references to Vanderboegh and this correspondent (that have been added by several different and unconnected contributors) from its “ATF Gunwalking Scandal” entry, the importance of assigning proper recognition is one that transcends personal interests–or it should. In the early stages of this story, before anyone “significant” noticed, it was mere “bloggers” who were desperately banging pots and pans for attention because we knew what kind of people would engineer a gunwalking scheme and turn on those who exposed it, and weren’t comfortable with the recognition of how easy it would be to contain it and us.

The story simply can’t be understood in its entirety if that early part is left out of the narrative and if the continued revelations remain relatively unknown because “official” media won’t acknowledge them. That’s why all those interested in seeing this embedded in the public consciousness should be grateful that, with a minor rewrite, “the story was exposed [on national network television] for the first time by CBS News in February 2011.”

That gratitude is shared by this correspondent and Mike Vanderboegh, both looking forward to further groundbreaking reports from Ms. Attkisson, but both also determined that the record will not be buried, even if pointing that out when self-interest is involved may be considered bad form or worse.

Regardless, here’s the exhaustively-documented truth: This story, which now reaches into the highest levels of government, was exposed nationally for the first time by new media, not old. That, in itself, is a sea change development “traditional” major players have no interest in acknowledging, because it leads to a whole new paradigm that does not depend on them for either relevancy or acceptance.

About David Codrea

David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at

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Amazingly, or possibly not so amazing, the parties responsible for the original screw-up, and the ongoing coverups remain unpunished, quite possibly they were promoted. Given this fact, one wonders or possibly not, re the public’ diminished regard for the law and government. I perhaps wax bitter about now.


Yeah, Because THAT's where I heard the story.. NOT!