Al Jazeera America’s Off the Record Conversations on FBI Leak

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Blog, California Politics, Featured Post | 0 comments

Al Jazeera America’s Off the Record Conversations on FBI Leak

Over at CalNewsroom.com, I just posted my latest piece on the Ron Calderon corruption case.

Al Jazeera America, which scooped the Capitol press corps with a leaked copy of the FBI’s affidavit against State Senator Ron Calderon, has a leak of its own.

An audio file, obtained exclusively by CalNewsroom.com, records an Al Jazeera America producer laughing and boasting about catching the FBI off-guard by their investigation into Calderon. The audio file, which contains sensitive language, was inadvertently left by an Al Jazeera reporter, who was seeking a comment on the FBI investigation.

Al Jazeera’s investigative unit claimed that an FBI official said, “Look, we don’t know shit,” in reference to the leaking of the Calderon case.


An unidentified Al Jazeera reporter claimed of a conversation with FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller, “Look, we don’t know shit. Apparently, Bernstein’s got some really fucking good source, cause, you know, that’s it. She’s like, All I can tell you is everybody’s in trouble and everybody’s sitting in the assistant director’s office that’s been involved with the case and they’re all getting fucked.”

The Al Jazeera America investigative unit is also caught mocking KCRA News for its “quasi-investigative reporter.” Josh Bernstein, the lead reporter for Al Jazeera America’s investigative unit, is a former reporter for KCRA News in Sacramento.

Transcript of Audio

Speaker 1: Oh, I’m sorry. Um. So Laura Eimiller called me yesterday, just before the story was about to air, and um, whereas like before she was really pissed off, she was really nice. And it turned out what happened was, there was a rumor going around the California press corps that we were going to air photos of the undercover agents and the informants.

I don’t know where it started- she wouldn’t tell me. And I assured, like that, we weren’t going to do that. And um, and so then it was kind of fine and then she was, like joked at the end, she was like you really ruined my day. This whole day has been pursuing.

Speaker 2: The PIO?

Speaker 1: The PIO.

Speaker 2: Oh I have to tell you a story. So KCRA, their quasi-investigative reporter, first of all, they’re all like fucking screaming, cause the assistant news director, we talked to him a week before. I said look, maybe we’ll give you a 24 hours heads up. And he (Unintelligible) a couple seconds of the raid video. Uh, so they’re all pissed. And so this guy calls me yesterday in a frantic state, and he’s like “blah, blah, blah, blah blah, blah. Can you help me out? Just give me some advance.”

Nope. Sorry.

And then Jim —(unintelligible) And then, the uh, my photographer calls me last night, after the show and he’s like, all right, you got to get this, because he was the pho-tog working with the reporter. And so after he got off the phone with you, he calls the FBI in L.A. and he speaks to this Laura woman, and she’s just like screaming, like you know, “This is so unprofessional, they’re compromising an investigation, duh, duh, duh.

Can I talk to you off the record though? Cause I can’t really give a comment. And he’s like, ‘Yeah, sure.’

And she’s like, “Look, we don’t know shit. Apparently, Bernstein’s got some really fucking good source, cause, you know, that’s it. She’s like, ‘All I can tell you is everybody’s in trouble and everybody’s sitting in the assistant director’s office that’s been involved with the case and they’re all getting fucked.’”

(Laughter)

But, yeah. It’s.

Speaker 1: So, especially after that. I just assured her that we weren’t going to out the uh, names of the informants. Um, uh, I’m sorry that we weren’t airing the pictures. And I said I couldn’t make promises for future, uh ones.

I did ask her who said that and she said it came from several people including. I don’t where that rumor started. Or, just, that… their way of getting some information from the FBI. I don’t know if the LA Times said that or someone.

For the latest news on California politics, check out CalNewsroom.com.

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