Just after 7 a.m. this morning, CNN’s “New Day” began reeling off the big stories of the day. Among them, the story that The Washington Post broke in the 8 p.m. hour Wednesday night on two male Secret Service agents being cut from President Obama‘s security detail for shady behavior at Washington’s Hay Adams Hotel and sexually suggestive emails to a female subordinate. The story’s double byline: Carol Leonnig and David Nakamura.
CNN reporter Joe Johns: “Sources confirm to CNN…” he said, rattling off details of the story to co-host Chris Cuomo. Missing from his reportage was any mention of the publication that actually broke the news. Cuomo concluded the segment by saying, “Alright Joe, we appreciate the reporting. We’ll keep watching this one.”
The New York Times also appreciated the “reporting” just before 11 p.m. last night – some five hours after The Washington Post first reported the story.
Secret Service Officer Is Demoted From Presidential Detail http://t.co/l6dLo5kiNd
— The New York Times (@nytimes) November 14, 2013
How big of the NYT. The story by Michael Schmidt doesn’t bother to mention The Washington Post until paragraph five of their story. The story was eight graphs. He wrote, “The Washington Post first reported details of the investigation Wednesday night.” Details? Try, they first reported the story – period.
For the first five graphs, you’d think they’d broke the story when they hadn’t at all. For CNN’s entire segment, you’d think they broke the story. They did not. New Day or not.
Unlike the NYT, the Atlantic Wire handled the matter far differently by bringing The Washington Post into their story in graph two, calling it a “Washington Post scoop.” In graph three they mention the authors by name.
This may not seem like a big deal. The story is out. Who cares at this point, right? But it matters. The Washington Post deserves the credit. They did the work. They did it fastest. And the biggest truth of all: Other outlets may not have even learned about the scandal, but for their reporting.
I requested comment from CNN, the NYT reporter who wrote the story and Eileen Murphy, veep of Corporate Communications at the NYT.
Interestingly, when “New Day” brought Johns back on air at 8:30 a.m., he said “sources confirmed to CNN” and explained that the story was first reported by The Washington Post. This was after CNN was approached for comment on the matter.