CBS Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian stacked the deck against four military food-supply contractors in a “Follow the Money” segment on the October 17 “CBS Evening News.”
“ … the large and active fraud and corruption case reportedly focuses on whether companies such as Perdue Farms, Sara Lee (NYSE:SLE) and ConAgra (NYSE:CAG) set unusually high prices when they sold their goods to the Army's prime food contractor for the war zone …” said Keteyian referencing the Journal article.
Keteyian continued, singling out Public Warehousing Company: “ … whether or not that contractor – Public Warehousing Company – improperly pocketed so-called 'refunds,' money it got back from its suppliers after goods were sold and what role, if any, current and former army officials played in a possible kickback scheme involving Public Warehousing, known as PWC and some of its vendors.”
The CBS segment also relied on “expert” Alan Grayson, an attorney who has “filed dozens of lawsuits against military contractors,” including one against the company Public Warehousing – a company Keteyian has focused on for overcharging the Army.
Grayson argued that taxpayers “should be outraged” “because money is being wasted and our troops are not getting the supplies they should for the money that’s being spent,” in front of a scenic waterfall. The interview looked more like a television political campaign commercial that should have ended with “My name is Alan Grayson and I approved this ad.”
But CBS left out a crucial fact about Grayson, whom they only labeled as an attorney. It turns out that Grayson is a political candidate.
Grayson ran for Congress in Florida’s 8th Congressional District as a Democrat in 2006 and his Web site now states that “we are in the process of re-vamping our website for the 2008 race,” a key element that would have given the viewer a sense of his motives.
The candidate has also received past media attention for his attacks on military contractors – appearing on CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360” April 20, 2006 and CBS’s “60 Minutes” Feb. 10, 2006.
"Evening News" did not feature any direct comments from PWC, and none at all from Perdue Farms, Sara Lee or ConAgra – all the companies accused of wrongdoing by the federal government. However, PWC did tell the Journal it attributed its high food prices to the costs of operating in a war zone.