Is "NBC Nightly News" Ignoring Fast and Furious?

It’s not exactly breaking news but still disappointing that Brian Williams has not mentioned Operation Fast and Furious on NBC Nightly News. I just sent off this email to him:

Dear NBC Nightly News:

I am extremely disappointed & disgusted NBC Nightly News has completely ignored Operation Fast and Furious. Our federal government has allowed guns to walk into Mexico into the hands of Mexican drug cartels & have been found at crime scenes in Mexico and USA. Not to mention showed up at the murder scene of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. I’m also disturbed because of the in depth coverage you gave Attorney General Alberto Gonzales in 2007.

How come you guys have been ignoring Operation Fast and Furious? Sharyl Atkisson broke the story on February 23, 2011 and there was no mention of it in your broadcast. The next day instead of talking about Fast & Furious you report how the new bulb ban hits Easy Bake Ovens. Really? The bulb ban affecting Easy Bake Ovens is more important than a scandal involving the ATF allowing guns to walk across the border? I looked through your episodes in March and saw no mention of it, but Sharyl Atkisson reported on it 16 times, including an agent that spills the beans on the operation and towards the end of the month another agent spoke out!

Here’s the kicker for me. Congressman Darrell Issa subpoenas Attorney General Eric Holder. No mention of it on your show or anytime during that week. On April 2 you reported about a Southwest airplane tearing open. I agree that is an extremely important story, but you guys gave an in depth follow up on April 3 and April 4, including about the probe into Boeing 737 airplanes were expanding. How about the probe into Operation Fast and Furious?

I thought I hit the jackpot when I saw a video titled “Border Corruption Crosses Border” but I was let down. It’s great you guys reported about the corruption that hits our agents, but what about the corruption within our own federal government AIDING the Mexican drug cartels. It’s bad enough DEA, ATF, and Border Patrol Agents aid the drug cartels but our federal government is aiding them with GUNS. Couldn’t you have put that in this report?

(Did you guys forget Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was brutally murdered by a gun from this operation in December 2010?)

I know we killed Osama bin Laden beginning of May and I’m not shocked that you spent the majority of your time covering that story. But yet CBS News managed to fit in a report about Mr. Holder’s testimony about Operation Fast & Furious. Could you please explain to me why you guys passed up on the story?

Not to mention on May 6 charges were filed in Mr. Terry’s death, yet you guys report on Paul McCartney’s engagement. Seriously?!?!? Mr. McCartney’s engagement is more important than the developments in Mr. Terry’s death? Then on May 13 you report on oil execs receiving an earful from Congress. How about the earful Senator Grassley gave Mr. Holder on May 3 at his testimony?

Again, on May 19, there was a report on drugs at the border, but no mention of Operation Fast & Furious. WHY?!?!!?

I thought I hit another lucky break when I saw on July 13 a video titled “It’s Not OK To Lie In Front Of Congress” but again I was let down because it was about Roger Clemens! How about covering Mr. Holder’s testimony to Congress and about the lies he told them?!?!

I couldn’t find transcripts or links to shows in the month of September. Please send those to me. But let’s continue to October.

October 3: New documents released from the White House show Mr. Holder was briefed on Fast & Furious in July 2010. You guys report on Prince William and Prince Harry’s childhoods.

October 6: You guys covered Obama’s press conference, but conveniently forgot to mention how he was asked about Fast & Furious and how he has confidence in Holder. (Remember this b/c it’s important!)

October 12: Congressman Issa issues more subpoenas. You guys cover Mrs. Obama sneaking out of the White House.

October 14: A new part of Fast & Furious is released about grenades. You guys report on a possible VP Eastwood and Mrs. Obama’s lovely gown.

Let’s rewind to 2007. Now, before I begin, let me say the MSNBC website is a mess and a nightmare. If you could please send me more transcripts or video clips from 2007 I’d greatly appreciate it. I know you remember Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ scandal involving the firing of 7 US attorneys in 2007 because it was all over the place. Here is what I was able to find.

When Mr. Holder testified under oath in front of Congress on May 3 you guys didn’t report it. Yet when Mr. Gonzales just held a press conference on March 13, 2007 you guys had a segment on it. So why would you cover a press conference, but not Mr. Holder’s actual testimony?

Then on March 27 you guys actually had a sit down exclusive interview with Mr. Gonzales. How come you haven’t interviewed Mr. Holder?

Remember how at President Obama’s press conference he expressed confidence in Mr. Holder? Well on March 24 and May 21 Bush expressed his support and confidence in Mr. Gonzales. You guys ran a segment on this, but didn’t bother to talk about President Obama’s confidence in Mr. Holder?

I couldn’t find the date of this video, but I found one of Mr. Gonzales defending himself. There have been MANY times Mr. Holder has defended himself against charges involving Operation Fast & Furious. How come you haven’t had segments about that?

Like I said MSNBC is an awful website. Please send me more information from 2007.

If any of this is untrue I encourage you to correct me. Please please correct me if I am wrong. But so many of us have one extremely simple question: Why are you ignoring Operation Fast and Furious?!?!

Mary Chastain

I am not happy, as you can tell from the tone of my email. I wish there was a better way for me to research their website, especially to find broadcasts/transcripts from September 2011. The home page just shows October 2011 broadcasts. The archive page just goes to August 2011. I cannot find September 2011 anywhere.

Remember what I said in my post about Chris Matthews? Between February 23 and now, Sharyl Attkisson and CBS News has 45+ articles/coverage on Operation Fast and Furious. Every time there is an update, no matter how small it may be, Ms. Attkisson reports it.

But I find it incredibly interesting how they ignored the question about Fast and Furious at President Obama’s press conference. They had to go out of their way to edit the question and response out. And they have an actual sit-down, one-on-one interview with Mr. Gonzales about his scandal but haven’t had one with Mr. Holder?

While I’m not shocked or surprised NBC Nightly News is not reporting this, it doesn’t mean I’m furious about it or going to blow it off. They need to be held accountable for not doing their job properly. There is NO excuse for not talking about this, especially since the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry is directly linked to the case. As soon as I receive a response (if I receive one) I’ll update here at Big Journalism. I’ll keep resending the email every day until I do.


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