Remember those stories of razor blades hidden in apples that circulate amongst school children every Halloween? Well, it looks like John Kerry actually got one...from some people wearing journalist's costumes:
News of missing explosives in Iraq -- first reported in April 2003 -- was being resurrected for a 60 MINUTES election eve broadcast designed to knock the Bush administration into a crises mode.
Jeff Fager, executive producer of the Sunday edition of 60 MINUTES, said in a statement that "our plan was to run the story on October 31, but it became clear that it wouldn't hold..."
Elizabeth Jensen at the LOS ANGELES TIMES details on Tuesday how CBS NEWS and 60 MINUTES lost the story [which repackaged previously reported information on a large cache of explosives missing in Iraq, first published and broadcast in 2003].The story instead debuted in the NYT. The paper slugged the story about missing explosives from April 2003 as "exclusive."
An NBCNEWS crew embedded with troops moved in to secure the Al-Qaqaa weapons facility on April 10, 2003, one day after the liberation of Iraq. According to NBCNEWS, the explosives were already missing when the American troops arrived. [Our emphasis]
It is not clear who exactly shopped an election eve repackaging of the missing explosives story.
The LA TIMES claims: The source on the story first went to 60 MINUTES but also expressed interest in working with the NY TIMES... "The tip was received last Wednesday."