More Excuses From NYT for Lack of 'Fast and Furious' Coverage

A few days ago, I reported on an email I received from New York Times senior editor Greg Brock in response to my questions about the paper’s coverage of the developing “Fast & Furious” scandal. While the response I was given was nowhere near as rude as the treatment I received from the Washington Post, I was still unsatisfied with the editor’s explanation for the minimal coverage of this very serious scandal, especially considering the Times’ obsessive coverage of comparatively insignificant controversies from the Bush Administration. Well, prepare yourselves for a real shocker: after more correspondence, the New York Times is still giving me excuses about their lack of Operation Fast & Furious coverage. Here’s my first response to Mr. Brock.

Dear Mr. Brock:

First off thank you so much for your prompt and well explained email. I greatly appreciate it. Thank you very much.

But I’m still not satisfied, especially since writers were so eager to write about every little development over the AG Gonzalez scandal. If that scandal, which didn’t result in the death of a border patrol agent, deserved so much coverage, how come this one doesn’t? It doesn’t even have to be on page one, but how about in the politics section? Other publications publish the new developments, but they bury it. At least, though, they’re publishing them.

Also, how is Congressman Issa’s plan to issue more subpoenas to Mr. Holder & others in the DOJ not news worthy? How is an operation that allows people to sell illegal guns to Mexican drug cartels that resulted in the death of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry?


Instead of asking you all these questions I would really like to talk to those reporters who have been covering it. I want to know why they haven’t reported about the subpoenas and these guns showing up in a drug cartel boss house! What is it going to take for Fast & Furious to receive the same attention Mr. Gonzales’s scandal received?

Just to let you know I also appreciate your coverage of Mr. Gonzales’s scandal. It should be covered! So please give the same attention to this attorney general’s scandal.

Mary Chastain

I never received a response to that email. However, as we all know, thanks to The Daily Caller and Townhall, The House Oversight Committee delivered a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder about Operation Fast and Furious. Katie Pavlich posted her article at 10:24AM and C.J. Ciaramella posted his at 12:18PM. I kept combing The New York Times webpage and couldn’t find anything. I was going to wait until this morning to email Mr. Brock, but I couldn’t take it anymore. I sent him this email at 6:10PM CDT.

Dear Mr. Brock:

Did you send my email to the editor & reporters responsible for Fast & Furious? Today Congressman Issa issued the subpoenas to Mr. Holder. I know The New York Times is the most popular news source in America, maybe the world, but I don’t see anything about the subpoenas. I looked at other news outlets and all of them had it. How come your US section did not see it important to publish this.

I’m also going to bring up Attorney General Gonzales and went to his topic page again. So many results about his US attorney scandal! I couldn’t help but notice this editorial titled Why This Scandal Matters: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/opinion/21mon1.html?ref=albertorgonzales If that scandal mattered Fast & Furious deserves to be covered at least 10 times more than Mr. Gonzales! I also noticed that an article about the scandal was published daily, some days even had more than 1 article dedicated to the scandal.

You have to talk to the editor & reporters in charge of Fast & Furious. If The New York Times devoted so much time & energy to AG Gonzales they need to devote the same plus a lot more to Operation Fast & Furious.

Please respond to me ASAP or at least let me know who I can directly get in touch with about this scandal not being reported.

Mary Chastain

Take note of the time please. I sent this email at 6:10PM CDT and I searched The New York Times website and could not find anything about the subpoenas. Nothing. I woke up this morning to this email. Something tells me Mr. Brock is not too happy with me.

We published that news on the Web yesterday when we learned of it. So it was there when you wrote your email at 7:10 p.m. And it is on Page A22 of the print edition today (perhaps a different page number, depending which editon you recevie.

Sorry Mr. Brock but this will not do. First off it’s not an article or even a paragraph. It’s a blurb. It’s a tiny blip on the radar screen. Remember the time stamps? He said I should have seen it when I sent him my email at 7:10PM EDT. But how is that possible when at 8:30PM CDT tonight the time stamp on the blurb said 21 hours ago? That means it was published at 12:30AM EDT.

Let’s go ahead and give him the benefit of the doubt and maybe they updated it. However the Times should take a cue from The Daily Caller and other publications that put a time stamp of the original post and add another one for updates. But I digress. Mr. Brock stated they published it as soon as they knew about it. Townhall published theirs at 10:24AM and The Daily Caller published theirs at 12:18PM. Am I the only one finding it hard to believe they knew about the subpoenas before The New York Times?! I let Mr. Brock know how I feel.

That’s weird.

I just looked at it again at 8:30 my time and your time stamp said 21 hours ago, which means it would have been published at 12:30AM. Did you guys update it? It’s also hard for me to believe you guys published it when you first heard about it because The Daily Caller published a full article on it at 12:18PM and Townhall published it at 10:24AM. I’m sorry but I find it very hard to believe that The Daily Caller & Townhall found out about it before The New York Times.

Also, how come a subpoena to the attorney general of the United States deserved basically a blurb on page A22?! I also found a good article of it on the front page of the politics section at CNN.

Please let me know.

Mary Chastain

I wouldn’t be shocked if Mr. Brock doesn’t answer me, but I’m not going to stop until we receive the truth. I’ll update when I know more here at Big Journalism.

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