CBS Cites Corruption Expert, Without Saying He's a Democratic Candidate
CBS Investigative Correspondent Armen Keteyian stacked the deck against four military food-supply contractors in a â€śFollow the Moneyâ€ť segment on the October 17 â€śCBS Evening News.â€ť
â€ś â€¦ 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 â€¦â€ť said Keteyian referencing the Journal article.
Keteyian continued, singling out Public Warehousing Company: â€ś â€¦ whether or not that contractor â€“ Public Warehousing Company â€“ 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.â€ť
The CBS segment also relied on â€śexpertâ€ť Alan Grayson, an attorney who has â€śfiled dozens of lawsuits against military contractors,â€ť including one against the company Public Warehousing â€“ a company Keteyian has focused on for overcharging the Army.
Grayson argued that taxpayers â€śshould be outragedâ€ť â€śbecause money is being wasted and our troops are not getting the supplies they should for the money thatâ€™s being spent,â€ť in front of a scenic waterfall. The interview looked more like a television political campaign commercial that should have ended with â€śMy name is Alan Grayson and I approved this ad.â€ť
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 Floridaâ€™s 8th Congressional District as a Democrat in 2006 and his Web site now states that â€śwe are in the process of re-vamping our website for the 2008 race,â€ť 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 â€“ appearing on CNNâ€™s â€śAnderson Cooper 360â€ť April 20, 2006 and CBSâ€™s â€ś60 Minutesâ€ť Feb. 10, 2006.
"Evening News" did not feature any direct comments from PWC, and none at all from Perdue Farms, Sara Lee or ConAgra â€“ 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.