Hey CBS, Sharyl Attkisson's Scrutiny of Powerful Politicians is a Feature, Not a Bug

Sharyl AttkissonCBSSharyl Attkisson is gone from CBS News. The award-winning journalist made waves in recent years by putting the screws to the sitting administration over issues from the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal to green subsidies to the Benghazi attack. That is, she "afflicted the powerful," as the old adage has it, which is what journalists are supposed to do unless they're polishing their resumes for a jump to public relations. But "the powerful" in recent years has meant, in part, an administration with which many journalists like to coo and play footsie. And Attkisson upset a lot of colleagues at CBS News by asking hard questions when the answers were awkward.

Acording to Politico's Dylan Byers:

Attkisson, who had been with CBS News for more than two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners, and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt that her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.

At the same time, Attkisson’s coverage of the Obama administration, which some CBS staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. The bulk of Attkisson’s work since 2009 has focused on the failures or perceived failures of the administration, including its troubled green-energy investments and the attack in Benghazi.

Impartiality-wise, it's worth noting that the president of CBS News is David Rhodes, the brother of White House speechwriter Ben Rhodes. But that relationship is apparently less of a problem than querying government officials on matters they'd rather gloss over.

For the record, "impartiality" in such matters would mean that Attkisson turned the bright lights on Republicans as enthusiastically as on Democrats. In fact, her CBS News bio reports that she "received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for her reporting on 'The Business of Congress,' which included a 'CBS This Morning' undercover investigation into fundraising by Republican freshmen."

But even if Attkisson is a partisan who treats conservatives with kid gloves, that just means you send her after left-leaning politicians, and one of her colleagues after right-leaning politicians. She's obviously diligent about interrogating at least some officeholders, which is more than you can say about too many other reporters. Who cares if a journalist is partial as long as you keep him or her pointed at a target?

While Attkisson's colleagues at CBS News may echo White House staff complaints that she's too mean to the president and his friends, this is an administration that has been notoriously opaque. A 2013 report from the Committee to Protect Journalists quoted David E. Sanger, veteran chief Washington correspondent of The New York Times, descibing the Obama administration as "the most closed, control freak administration I’ve ever covered."

That report added:

In the Obama administration’s Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press. Those suspected of discussing with reporters anything that the government has classified as secret are subject to investigation, including lie-detector tests and scrutiny of their telephone and e-mail records. An “Insider Threat Program” being implemented in every government department requires all federal employees to help prevent unauthorized disclosures of information by monitoring the behavior of their colleagues.

You'd think a news outfit would be happy to have somebody on board who was willing to penetrate those circled wagons and dig for information. That is, after all,what journalists are supposed to do.

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  • Lost_In_Translation||

    Politicians are all crooks. I'd rather have politician hating journalists than...say..katie couric.

  • RishJoMo||

    Sounds liek a pretty solid plan to me dude.
    www.Anon-VPN.com

  • Anonymous Coward||

    An “Insider Threat Program” being implemented in every government department requires all federal employees to help prevent unauthorized disclosures of information by monitoring the behavior of their colleagues.

    Stop Snitchin'. Obama brings the values he learned as a Community Organizer in Chicago to the White House.

    And Sharyl Attkisson is obviously an agent of the Kochtopus. Someone call the IRS so they can audit this traitor.

  • sarcasmic||

    It's called transparency.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    There is nothing more transparent than absolute secrecy. Nothing.

  • PD Scott||

    Who knew the O stood for omerta?

  • Bobarian||

    Snitches get stitches, Bitches!

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    But even if Attkisson is a partisan who treats conservatives with kid gloves, that just means you send her after left-leaning politicans...

    You don't if your brother works for left-leaning politicians.

  • Drake||

    Fox News is steadily destroying other news agencies because people can tell - there are more liberals working there than there are conservatives at any of the mainstream agencies, maybe all combined.

    (And I'm more inclined to watch their Business Channel than the regular news nonsense they spew.)

  • Ted S.||

    So you're the person who watches Fox Business!

  • Drake||

    Some nut recommended their 9pm shows.

  • Bobarian||

    "Some nut recommended their 9pm shows"

    to masturbate to?

  • SIV||

    Fox News is steadily destroying other news agencies because people can tell - there are more liberals working there than there are conservatives at any of the mainstream agencies, maybe all combined.

    If you mean all employees in the news division Fox probably employs roughly the same percentage of liberals as the rest of the news media. They don't recruit at Hillsdale, Liberty U and George Mason. They hire from the exact same talent pool.

  • ||

    In the Obama administration’s Washington, government officials are increasingly afraid to talk to the press. Those suspected of discussing with reporters anything that the government has classified as secret are subject to investigation, including lie-detector tests and scrutiny of their telephone and e-mail records.

    The most transparent administration in history.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This mindset, all while most of the media protects the administration like a mother bear protects a newborn cub.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    She is a CT type anyway.

    Unfortunately, at CBS News, there now appears to be a woman who was willing to take over the role of mainstream media propagandist for the anti-vaccine movement. Her name is Sharyl Attkisson, and, oops, she did it again just this Thursday with an article entitled Vaccines and autism: a new scientific review, in which she pimps a truly horrible “review” of the evidence base regarding whether vaccines cause or predispose to autism. Interestingly, she’s quite late.


    http://www.sciencebasedmedicin.....bs-news-2/

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Ah, so you've received your talking point already.

  • waffles||

    PB, would you mind posting your 2013 tax return? Please?

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    Even though I'm arguing with an idiot here, I'll do you favor and bring you up to speed on the "latest" research.

    There is a subset of the population that is missing a biochemical pathway that aids in the excretion of metals from their system. Therefore, when metals are introduced into their systems, they are (for the most part) unable to get rid of them. Combine this effect with immune reactions, antibiotic treatments, fungal infections, etc... and you can get what is quite often described as an Autism spectrum disorder. It appears that this is primarily the result of gut disorders which can include leaky gut, yeast infections, etc...

    95% of your serotonin and a large portion of your benzodiazepines are produced in your gut. If your gut is not performing as intended, it will have psychoactive effects.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    As an anecdote, my son has Asperger's Syndrome. It was apparent from birth that something was different. However, around age 3 a dramatic shift occurred and it has taken years for us to understand what was going on. In short, he has aluminum poisoning (from vaccines, it was what replaced thimerosal), he has a severe systemic yeast infection due to a depressed immune system from the poisoning and the use of antibiotics to treat ear infections, and he belongs to that subset of the population that cannot excrete metals from their system.

    My point is that the anti-vaccine nuts may not be completely correct, however vaccines are not wholly non-harmful and they do have side-effects for some people.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Scruffy, are you saying that something the government wants to force everyone into doing might not actually be in the interest of all individuals involved? Unpossible.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I might just be saying that.

    /ducks, checks out window for SWAT

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    As an anecdote, my son has Asperger's Syndrome. It was apparent from birth that something was different. However, around age 3 a dramatic shift occurred and it has taken years for us to understand what was going on. In short, he has aluminum poisoning (from vaccines, it was what replaced thimerosal), he has a severe systemic yeast infection due to a depressed immune system from the poisoning and the use of antibiotics to treat ear infections, and he belongs to that subset of the population that cannot excrete metals from their system.

    My point is that the anti-vaccine nuts may not be completely correct, however vaccines are not wholly non-harmful and they do have side-effects for some people.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    As an anecdote, my son has Asperger's Syndrome. It was apparent from birth that something was different. However, around age 3 a dramatic shift occurred and it has taken years for us to understand what was going on. In short, he has aluminum poisoning (from vaccines, it was what replaced thimerosal), he has a severe systemic yeast infection due to a depressed immune system from the poisoning and the use of antibiotics to treat ear infections, and he belongs to that subset of the population that cannot excrete metals from their system.

    My point is that the anti-vaccine nuts may not be completely correct, however vaccines are not wholly non-harmful and they do have side-effects for some people.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    WTF?

    KILL THE SQUIRRELS

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    AND KILL THE GD AUTOPLAY

  • Loki||

    There is a subset of the population that is missing a biochemical pathway that aids in the excretion of metals from their system.

    I'm guessing this is probably genetic. Yet the FDA is doing its damndest to shut down companies like 23andMe. Go figure. I mean, if people actually had access to information such as whether or not their child had problems excreting metals, they might be in a position to make better decisions about whether or not to vaccinate. People making informed decisions about what's best for them or their children? Can't have that, now can we.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    It is usually genetic although it can show as a mutation apparently. A good indicator is a metal allergy on the mother's side (my wife can't wear metal jewelry, gives her a rash).

    In regards to vaccination, the initiative should still be to vaccinate your kids. However, if your child has this condition, you would want to space out the vaccinations further and treat them for metal toxicity immediately afterwards.

    Also, there is a strong correlation (yeah I know) between rates of acetaminophen use and autism rates on a national scale. My first child received a lot of Children's Tylenol, the second less, and the third almost none. I recommend ibuprofen instead.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    As an anecdote, my son has Asperger's Syndrome. It was apparent from birth that something was different. However, around age 3 a dramatic shift occurred and it has taken years for us to understand what was going on. In short, he has aluminum poisoning (from vaccines, it was what replaced thimerosal), he has a severe systemic yeast infection due to a depressed immune system from the poisoning and the use of antibiotics to treat ear infections, and he belongs to that subset of the population that cannot excrete metals from their system.

    My point is that the anti-vaccine nuts may not be completely correct, however vaccines are not wholly non-harmful and they do have side-effects for some people.

  • Marshall Gill||

    Four times? That is like a squirrel record.

  • Andrew S.||

    Squirrels usually only post 3 times. I think he purposefully posted 4 times just to screw with us, then blamed squirrels.

  • waffles||

    Used to be if you just hit reply as fast as you could you could comment a whole score of times at once.

  • waffles||

    Used to be if you just hit reply as fast as you could you could comment a whole score of times at once.

  • waffles||

    Used to be if you just hit reply as fast as you could you could comment a whole score of times at once.

  • waffles||

    Used to be if you just hit reply as fast as you could you could comment a whole score of times at once.

  • waffles||

    Used to be if you just hit reply as fast as you could you could comment a whole score of times at once.

  • waffles||

    Used to be if you just hit reply as fast as you could you could comment a whole score of times at once.

  • Wandering Texan||

    When was "score" redefined as "six"?

  • waffles||

    I said used to be. I'm old now and my mouse finger isn't as quick as it was back in the day.

  • Scruffy Nerfherder||

    I posted and nothing happened or showed up on refresh. Waited a minute, posted again, nothing happened, etc...

    Imagine my surprise.

  • Drake||

    Does it ever occur to you to actually debate an issue? Did your handlers train you to always respond with a personal attack regardless of the situation or issue?

    Or, am I giving you too much credit and you just repeat whatever talking points you receive?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    a lack of dedication to investigative reporting

    "Mister President, every loyal American wants to know how you became so wise and generous. How do you do it?"

  • flye||

    Colbert thought he was doing satire with his stock "Bush: great president, or greatest president?" question, but I've seen similar or worse asked by supposed news professionals.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting.

    *outright prolonged laughter*

  • Homple||

    Let me fix this.

    Realization that the IRS could fall on them like a ton of sewage and the NSA had recorded their phone conversations, read their emails and logged their whereabouts

    "led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting."

  • wareagle||

    maybe but talk about a bullhorn of a pulpit from which to speak. Even politicians used to abide by the idea that it was never smart to incessantly argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel. The media will always have the last word.

  • Red Rocks Rockin||

    Even politicians used to abide by the idea that it was never smart to incessantly argue with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

    The problem is that the ink buyers are so emotionally invested in Obama--because they're the ones who made him a celebrity, after all--there's no way they'll ever hold him accountable voluntarily.

  • John||

    That is what they are going to claim some day. When the full truth comes out and it always does and people look at the media and ask "why didn't you report this", the answer will be "but we were so afraid of Eric Holder we couldn't". They will never admit the truth that they are happy political operatives who will defend anything no matter how vile.

  • Loki||

    They will never admit the truth that they are happy political operatives who will defend anything no matter how vile.

    ...as long as it's coming from a guy with a "D" after his name.

  • Juice||

    Nah, man they were loving that Iraq War. Rah! Rah! Rah!

  • John||

    For about a week. They turned on it almost immediately. And when Obama continued it and escalated the war in Afghanistan, they didn't say a word.

    I think the "but the media didn't go full pro Saddam in 2003" horse is dead. You shouldn't beat it anymore.

  • rbenchley||

    "Questions are a burden, and answers a prison for oneself"

  • Number 2||

    HEY?!? Get your own pop culture references, thank you very much.

  • Aloysious||

    "Shellshock in the kitchen
    Tables start to burn."

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I left something for you in the Presidential Interview Fellation thread, Pro Lib; something I know you can appreciate.

  • Pro Libertate||

    As goofs go, this is the big one. Only Jerry Lawler knows the truth.

  • Dweebston||

    “Liberal bias” is the new centrism.

    Centrist is the old democratic party.

    Right-wing is the old centrist.

    Left-wing is the old socialist.

    Hopefully that clears us up.

  • 110 Lean||

    "Impartiality-wise, it's woth noting"

    Is there an r?

  • The Laconic Marc F Cheney||

    Yes, it's supposed to be "wroth". HTH.

  • SIV||

  • Paul.||

    If we can't complain about the MSM, what can we complain about?

  • SIV||

    the word "bossy"

    #banbossy

    "We've always been at war with bullying anti-bullying"

  • ||

    "I no respond to BURRYING!"

  • ||

    WTF? CBS still airs news?

    Give up already. When the NY Times has more readers than your news show has viewers... time to pack it in. That's like fighting a knight with a tommy gun and losing. Maybe this is them starting to turn the gun on themselves.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    a knight with a tommy gun

    Sounds kind-of steam punkish. I like.

  • Rich||

    Give up already.

    NO! I sometimes like to watch CBS News just to play "Spot the Egregious Error"!

  • Invisible Finger||

    Low rating for CBS news are the Republicans' fault.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    Ah, another step towards the "echo chamber" business model. Seems to be all the rage these days.

  • BigT||

    Dan Blather is turning over in his chaise lounge and applying sunscreen to his other side.

  • radar||

    "The bulk of Attkisson’s work since 2009 has focused on the failures or perceived failures of the administration, including its troubled green-energy investments and the attack in Benghazi."

    Oh, heavens! A journalist scrutinizing the failures of a presidential administration? How distressing that must be.

  • wareagle||

    bias? There is no bias. And it's quite possible that Attkisson herself voted for Obama but clings to the quaint notion that her profession isn't about who you may like. In many ways, this is worse than Bernie Goldberg's books on bias back when there was no fox and talk radio was just finding its footing. This is so much more in your face.

  • Notorious G.K.C.||

    Her replacement is Sheryl *Asskissin',* lol

    whatcanisayilikepuns.com

  • lap83||

    I laughed.

  • Jon Lester||

    Even if the first duty of these conglomerate-owned news outlets is to make money for shareholders, ahead of reporting truth, you'd think they'd be more keen to get ahead of the curve and keep up with what people are thinking and feeling. That was apparent last summer when government and media failed to sell the public on bombing Syria, to note just one clear example of things that Americans are increasingly skeptical of.

  • John||

    That is just it, they view their duty as being a propaganda outlet for the Left. If their duty was to make money, they would have loved a story like Fast and Furious and Bengazi. Entire media empires have been built on less interesting stories than that. But since reporting on those things would have intererred with doing their duty to the Left, they ignored those stories and hated Attkinson for covering them.

    It is amazing how they don't even pretend anymore. It used to be that the media was biased in favor of liberal programs but did at least cover Democratic sleaze. They covered the House check writing scandal and Cyrus Vance snorting coke at Studio 54 and the Democrats who were caught banging teenage pages and a lot more. Now they no longer are biased towards programs and by extension biased towards Democrats, they just Democratic political operatives.

    At least when they were biased towards ideology they would turn on a Democrat who sold out the ideology or didn't live up to it. Now there is nothing a Democrat could do that would cause them to be critical of them. If a Democratic President decides that a surveillance state and war abroad is the thing to do, the media will defend him no questions asked.

  • Fluffy||

    I agree with John, here.

    I think the biggest tell is the sudden turn in left-wing commentary circles against "libertarian cynicism".

    What they mean by that is "People think government programs can't work, because of all the reporting we do on the failures of government. To help people get over their cynicism, we should start focusing on the GOOD NEWS of government and stop all this mean, dark, cynical reporting we've done of how government fails."

  • John||

    What is funny about that is that the media always cherished their watchdog role as essential to making government work. And to some degree that is right. The threat of media exposure and humiliation really does deter people in government from behaving badly.

    Once the media decides it can't watchdog government, you are ensuring that government will be ineffective and corrupt.

    If you really believed in the power of government, you would be the most offended by people who abuse its power and trust. Instead, the media does everything it can to cover up for an enable such people.

  • Brian D||

    "If You See Something, Say Something."

    Unless you're part of the political overclass, of course.

  • R C Dean||

    Wanna cash checks from the DemOp media?

    Better act like a Democratic operative.

    Chilling effect, achieved. When a high-profile reporter who actually broke stories gets canned, all the other reporters (and their editors) take note. You can be sure that even the pitiful level of skepticism evident from the DemOp media will ramp down now.

  • John||

    Pretty much. And this is why no one should in good conscience ever watch their shows or buy their media. Every time you watch one of these shows or buy one of these publications, you are making an in kind contribution to the Democratic Party.

  • Bobarian||

    So... will she get picked up by Fox News, a la Juan Williams?

    Fox made a lot of hay off that bit.

  • Response||

    An extremely rare species is the modern Investigative Journalist. Over the past 30 years most breeds of IJs have been place on the endangered species list with the Democrat breed having sadly gone into extinction. In the past, large herds of IJs could be seen milling around the water holes in Washington, DC. And should a stray or wounded politician be seen limping away from its own herd, the IJs would pounce and devour the politician so as to keep only the strongest and most fit of the political herd around improving the overall herd strength while reducing numbers to manageable levels. Banished from their sacred feeding grounds, most IJs now roam around the fly over states of the United States or in hidden niches through out the world - though all tend to avoid Western Europe whenever possible. With such dwindling numbers, won't you please give to the Save the Investigative Journalists fund c/o Reason Foundation. Think of the children.

  • Richard Rider||

    This is GREAT news! The network properly decides to fire a biased reporter! A reporter with an agenda. Begone wench!

    Finally we can look forward to this fine network cleaning house -- firing the scores of reporters, "newscasters" and producers who have systematically displayed amazing bias while lionizing Obama and the Democrats. Halleluiah!!

    I'm holding my breath . . . turning blue . . . bluer . . . thud!

  • Pulseguy||

    How can you be impartial talking about ONE administration? There isn't a Republican prez and a Democrat prez. There is one prez who happens to be a Democrat.

    When reporters were trashing Bush, did people demand a negative story about Clinton, to be impartial?

  • concerned cynic||

    There's a job waiting for her at Fox News. She'll be back.

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