Newsmax's Ronald Kessler is getting credit for breaking the story about allegations that Secret Service agents hired prostitutes while accompanying the president on his trip to Colombia.
But Kessler didn't break that story at Newsmax. He let the Washington Post have it.
The initial Post article on the scandal states that the paper "was alerted to the investigation by Ronald Kessler, a former Post reporter and author of several nonfiction books." Kessler has given only a couple of follow-up stories to his employer.
Why would Kessler give a huge story to another news outlet, not the one that employs him? Giving away a story to a competitor is highly unusual.
Perhaps Kessler didn't think that Newsmax would give the story the proper exposure, given that most people likely see it as a partisan website and not a genuine news organization.
That exposure by giving the story to the Post, though, would also give Kessler a platform to peddle his book on the Secret Service -- as well as his agenda, which includes highlighting allegations of lax security and demanding the firing of Secret Service director Mark Sullivan.
One had to assume that Newsmax had to sign off on Kessler giving this huge story away to another news organization, given that Kessler has promoted follow-ups on the website. Still, it's surprising that Newsmax would do so, since Kessler's media appearances have downplayed the fact that he works for Newsmax -- meaning that it's not benefiting from its employee's high media profile.