Why is NOLA CBS affiliate sitting on Sen. Vitter interview about aide who stabbed his girlfriend?

Blog ››› ››› KARL FRISCH

Last Friday, ABC News' Brian Ross reported the story of Brent Furer -- an aide to Sen. David Vitter -- who entered "a guilty plea for a violent attack on an ex-girlfriend with a knife." In the report, Ross added that Sen. Vitter "kept [Furer] on staff after a five day suspension without pay and continued to use him as his point person on women's issues" and that it was only after ABC's initial report on the story that the staffer offered his resignation.

In reporting the story, Ross and ABC investigative reporter Matthew Mosk were unable to interview Sen. Vitter who avoided their various attempts to discuss the issue:

Mosk: We haven't been able to get an answer from Sen. Vitter as to why he kept him on for so long.

Ross: In fact, you and I have been trying to find Sen. Vitter for the last week or so spending long hours in front of the many fundraisers he's had but he's dodged us.

Mosk: He has a good understanding of where to find the back door and back alley.

Ross: You caught up with him just briefly, what did he say to you?

Mosk: He said he did not have time to talk to us. He put his phone to his ear and bolted into his office building.

In an internet video released this week by Vitter's 2010 Democratic challenger, the Louisiana Senator is seen in a brief snippet of amateur video discussing the issue with Mike Hoss, an anchor for WWL, CBS' local New Orleans affiliate.

A search of TVeyes.com reveals that WWL has yet to cover the story or air Hoss' interview of Sen. Vitter -- a finding confirmed by WWL news director Chris Slaughter during a phone conversation with Media Matters.

The fact that WWL has yet to air the interview or cover the story is all the more intriguing given the fact that ABC News was unable to directly question Vitter.

So, why hasn't WWL covered the story or run its Vitter interview?

Slaughter said the issue "is on a list of potential stories we are considering. We are doing additional research."

Asked if there was a timeline for WWL's consideration of the story or the airing of its interview with Vitter, Slaughter replied, "No, not at all."

When presented with the juxtaposition of ABC News being unable to pin Vitter down for an interview while WWL's Hoss had been successful, Slaughter said only, "If CBS is interested in the story, we'd be happy to provide them with the video."

ABC News
Brian Ross, Mike Hoss
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