Ex-CBS reporter’s book reveals how liberal media protects Obama.
But unfortunately, most people are perfectly content being lied to.
Here are some of Sharyl Attkisson’s insights:
The major network news decisions get made by a handful of New York execs who read the same papers and think the same thoughts.
Her boss had a rule that conservative analysts must always be labeled conservatives, but liberal analysts were simply “analysts.”
And if a conservative analyst’s opinion really rubbed the supervisor the wrong way,” says Attkisson, “she might rewrite the script to label him a ‘right-wing’ analyst.”
Often they dream up stories beforehand and turn the reporters into “casting agents,” told “we need to find someone who will say . . .” that a given policy is good or bad. “We’re asked to create a reality that fits their New York image of what they believe,” she writes.
Along the same lines, she says the government of secretly planted classified docs on her computer:
Attkisson speculated on how the Nixon controversy would have been handled today’s world:
“Nixon would basically refuse to turn over tapes to Congress, his aides would refuse to testify to Congress or would take the Fifth or would lie to Congress with fair amount of impunity,” she said. “Woodward and Bernstein would be controversialized on social media by special and political interests. … Then at the end Nixon would go on a popular late-night comedy show, during which time he would humorously refer to his attackers as people who were political witch-hunters who believed in Area 51-type conspiracy theories.”
In nearly 20 years at CBS News, she has done many stories attacking Republicans and corporate America, but liberals are exempt, and TV news has become more and more skittish about stories questioning pharmaceutical companies or car manufacturers.
Working on a piece that raised questions about the American Red Cross disaster response, she says a boss told her, “We must do nothing to upset our corporate partners . . . until the stock splits.” (Parent company Viacom and CBS split in 2006).
Reporting on the many green-energy firms such as Solyndra that went belly-up after burning through hundreds of millions in Washington handouts, Attkisson ran into increasing difficulty getting her stories on the air. A colleague told her about the following exchange: “[The stories] are pretty significant,” said a news exec. “Maybe we should be airing some of them on the ‘Evening News?’ ” Replied the program’s chief Pat Shevlin, “What’s the matter, don’t you support green energy?”
Says Attkisson: That’s like saying you’re anti-medicine if you point out pharmaceutical company fraud.
In mid-October 2012, with the presidential election coming up, Attkisson says CBS suddenly lost all interest in airing her reporting on the Benghazi attacks. “The light switch turns off,” she writes. “Most of my Benghazi stories from that point on would be reported not on television, but on the Web.”
Two expressions that became especially popular with CBS News brass, she says, were “incremental” and “piling on.” These are code for “excuses for stories they really don’t want, even as we observe that developments on stories they like are aired in the tiniest of increments.”
Hey, kids, we found two more Americans who say they like their ObamaCare! Let’s do another lengthy segment.
When the White House didn’t like her reporting, it would make clear where the real power lay. A flack would send a blistering e-mail to her boss, David Rhodes, CBS News’ president — and Rhodes’s brother Ben, a top national security advisor to President Obama.
I had no idea that the President of CBS News’ brother was a top national security advisor to President Obama, did you?
Attkisson, who received an Emmy and the Edward R. Murrow award for her trailblazing work on the story, says she made top CBS brass “incensed” when she appeared on Laura Ingraham’s radio show and mentioned that Obama administration officials called her up to literally scream at her while she was working the story.
One angry CBS exec called to tell Attkisson that Ingraham is “extremely, extremely far right” and that Attkisson shouldn’t appear on her show anymore. Attkisson was puzzled, noting that CBS reporters aren’t barred from appearing on lefty MSNBC shows.
No interview with Holder aired but “after that weekend e-mail exchange, nothing is the same at work,” Attkisson writes. “The Evening News” began killing her stories on Fast and Furious, with one producer telling Attkisson, “You’ve reported everything. There’s really nothing left to say.”
Sensing the political waters had become too treacherous, Attkisson did what she thought was an easy sell on a school-lunch fraud story that “CBS This Morning” “enthusiastically accepted,” she says, and was racing to get on air, when suddenly “the light switch went off . . . we couldn’t figure out what they saw as a political angle to this story.”
The story had nothing to do with Michelle Obama, but Attkisson figures that the first lady’s association with school lunches, and/or her friendship with “CBS This Morning” host Gayle King, had something to do with execs now telling her the story “wasn’t interesting to their audience, after all.”
Meanwhile, she says, though no one confronted her directly, a “whisper campaign” began; “If I offered a story on pretty much any legitimate controversy involving government, instead of being considered a good journalistic watchdog, I was anti-Obama.”
Yet it was Attkisson who broke the story that the Bush administration had once run a small gun-walking program similar to Fast and Furious, called Wide Receiver. She did dozens of tough-minded stories on Bush’s FDA, the TARP program and contractors such as Halliburton. She once inspired a seven-minute segment on “The Rachel Maddow Show” with her reporting on the suspicious charity of a Republican congressman, Steve Buyer.
“Thank you CBS, or should I say SeeBS. Thank you for being so horrible at reporting that you have opened an enormous gap for myself and countless others in alternative media to fill.” Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg