Isham: ‘Not a Snitch’

Earlier today, John Solomon via the Center for Public Integrity published an article that claims the FBI had a mole inside ABC News during the mid-1990s.  The piece suggests that one of the network’s top reporters identified a confidential source while acting as an informant for the Bureau during their investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing.  Gawker advanced the story this afternoon, declaring they’d identified the anonymous reporter as Chris Isham, now VP and Washington bureau chief for CBS News.

In a statement this evening, Isham fired back at Gawker, calling the allegations “outrageous and untrue” but admitted to running information by sources within the FBI for confirmation:

“The suggestion that I was an informant for the FBI is outrageous and untrue. Like every investigative reporter, my job for 25 years has been to check out information and tips from sources.  In the heat of the Oklahoma City bombing, it would not be unusual for me or any journalist to run information by a source within the FBI for confirmation or to notify authorities about a pending terrorist attack.  This is consistent with the policies at every news organization.  But at no time did I compromise a confidential source with the FBI or anyone else. Mr. Cannistraro was not a confidential source, but rather a colleague – a paid consultant to ABC News who had already spoken to the FBI about information he had received.”

Publish date: April 5, 2011 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT