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New York Times Responds to Criticisms About Fast & Furious Coverage


If it’s important to agonize over every detail of a Department of Justice scandal involving supposed illegal firing of 7 US attorneys, you’d think the Times woud want to be on top of a scandal involving guns walking into Mexico into drug cartel hands who murdered Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. The Times keeps proving why news sources like The BIGs, The Daily Caller, Townhall, and radio shows like Cam & Company are the new Mainstream Media.

I was pleasantly surprised to see so much contact info the Times website. I called their regular phone line & also left a message for Mr. Arthur Brisbane, a representative for the readers. After that I emailed everyone I could find including the executive editor , managing editor, publisher and president.

This is the email I sent at 10:01AM CDT.

Hello New York Times,

I have left messages for you at your main number & at Mr. Brisbane’s desk and I wish to receive a response ASAP. A lot of fellow readers, including myself, are outraged at the lack of coverage concerning Fast & Furious and we demand to know why. Have you forgotten Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was brutally murdered by at least one of the guns from this operation? There were 3 guns from this operation at his death scene!!

How come the last article you published was from October 7 about Mr. Holder lashing back at the inquiries from Congress? The day before, October 6, Matthew Boyle at The Daily Caller posted this article about more documents released proving Mr. Holder had to know. We received silence from your paper on that. Since then Congressman Issa has talked subpoenas, guns from Fast & Furious have been found in drug cartel boss houses, Arizona sheriffs are demanding an independent investigation, and just today Mr. Boyle published an article about how an ex-Secret Service agent demands Mr. Holder resigned.

Back in 2007 Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez was caught up in a scandal. That was all about supposed illegal firing of 7 US Attorneys. A search of your website resulted in a lot of articles. Anytime a Democrat called for Mr. Gonzalez to resign you published it. Yet we get nothing about Mr. Holder and fast & Furious.

I’ll ask nicely, but it’s a demand since you guys are the go to news source. Please explain to me why you’re not covering Fast & Furious. A border patrol agent was MURDERED and who knows how many American citizens were murdered by these guns in the USA & how many innocent Mexican citizens were murdered in Mexico.


Mary Chastain

Surprisingly, I received a response from Greg Brock, Senior Editor/Standards about an hour later at 11:07AM CDT.

Dear Ms. Chastain:

I am sorry you have found our coverage on “Fast and Furious” lacking. We have indeed covered this story, as you pointed out. But we take every subject on a case-by-case basis and write articles when we think the developments warrant it. We cannot write a daily story on every issue. We would need to publish a 5,000-page newspaper to do that. Every reader has some subject she or he feels passionately about. One woman is furious with us because she thinks the starvation of 500,000 children in Somalia should be on Page One every day, with a picture. Another reader who is still seething over the United States having gone to war in Afghanistant and Iraq wants an article on Page One every day — with the death toll displayed prominently. Even if the readers do not thing the issue merits page one, they still send in requests for more coverage on every issue. The requests are endless.

I will send your note along to the editors and reporters who have been covering the “Fast and Furious” story. But I am confident when they have new information, they will indeed write about it. After all, that’s the business we are in: to tell the news. No one in his right mind in a newsroom would intentionally withhold news. Nor is there any grand scheme to withhold information, as you seem to think. We don’t have time for such shenanigans — and wouldnt do such a thing anyway. We make the best decisions we know how — as fallible human beings — and we do it as quickly as possible in a 24/7 news operation. I am sorry we have so disappointed you with our efforts.

Best regards,

Greg Brock

Senior Editor/Standards

Needless to say, I’m still not satisfied. I responded back about how the Times, specifically, was so eager to report every single development of Mr. Gonzales’s scandal, including this editorial titled “Why This Scandal Matters.” Again, why is the Times NOT giving Fast & Furious the same detailed attention? Congressman Issa said has issued new subpoenas to Mr. Holder & others in the DOJ. The New York Times has yet to report this but had no problem reporting hearings conducted by House Democrats on Mr. Gonzales. For example, check out the New York Times Topic page for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. If you look at the posting dates it appears there is a post almost every single day! If the Gonzalez scandal matters, why doesn’t the Holder scandal matter?

I haven’t heard back from the Times yet, but as soon as I do I will post it here at Big Journalism.


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