Report: CBS grumpy that Sharyl Attkisson’s Benghazi scoops are “wading dangerously close to advocacy”

posted at 1:21 pm on May 8, 2013 by Allahpundit

Of course they are. The news department responsible for Rathergate has very exacting standards.

The second Goliath is CBS News, which has grown increasingly frustrated with Attkisson’s Benghazi campaign. CBS News executives see Attkisson wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue, network sources have told POLITICO. Attkisson can’t get some of her stories on the air, and is thus left feeling marginalized and underutilized. That, in part, is why Attkisson is in talks to leave CBS ahead of contract, as POLITICO reported in April.

Farhi mentions “internal conflicts” in the final paragraph, though he seems to dismiss them. The “internal conflicts” are indeed real — Attkisson is still eyeing an exit, according to sources — and provide important context for today’s piece. Today, CBS News is celebrating Attkisson’s commitment to the Benghazi story. A PR representative even encouraged POLITICO to write a post about Farhi’s piece. But that support is an abberation.

If you missed it a few days ago, here’s the most recent example of Attkisson’s hysterical, advocacy-based journalism. But wait: Why, if an outlet like Fox is reporting similar details, is CBS worried about Attkisson’s scoops? To complete the puzzle, let’s read WaPo:

While other media, particularly Fox News, have been similarly skeptical about the official narrative about Benghazi, Attkisson and CBS might put the story in a different light. As a much-decorated reporter from a news outlet often derided by conservatives as a liberal beacon, Attkisson and her network flip the usual script on this highly politicized story. That is, it’s hard to peg her and her network as Republican sympathizers out to score political points against a Democratic president

“I’m a political agnostic,” she says. “I don’t think about who’s good and who’s bad. I just go where the story leads. . . . People can say what they want about me, I don’t care. I just want to get the information out there.”…

As it happens, Attkisson has won recognition for tough stories on Republicans, too, such as an Emmy-winning series on the Bush administration’s bank bailout and an investigation of fundraising tactics by Republican congressmen at a Florida resort last year.

Bingo. For the same reason, the left takes greater exception to the Koch brothers’ interest in buying the LA Times than it would to the Kochs setting out to build their own right-wing paper from the ground up. They can’t stop conservative media from existing, but they can ghettoize it as illegitimate and “partisan” in a way that their own partisan garbage isn’t. The problem with the Kochs buying the Times is that the paper already has a reputation among wider media for being respectable and impartial (giggle). That reputation can and will be retracted by the rest of the press if/when the Kochs take it over, but it’ll take more work to delegitimize it than it would some new Koch start-up. Same with Attkisson: Skepticism about Benghazi is fine for the wingnuts at Fox, but bringing such unhelpful nonsense into an “impartial,” i.e. pro-Obama, outlet like CBS risks lending credence to the GOP’s accusations. The proper line to take on Benghazi is to dismiss the new hearings with a sneer, a la Joe Klein, or, in the case of “impartial” news coverage, to dismiss them more lightly by referencing Hillary’s long-ago whining about a “vast right-wing conspiracy” to discredit the Clintons. “Going where the story leads” is unhelpful to liberalism in this case, ergo it’s advocacy by definition.

Ah well. CBS’s loss will, undoubtedly, eventually be Fox News’s gain. Then Attkisson can do her “advocacy” in the proper ghettoized context. I’ll leave you with this, which crossed the Twitter feed less than an hour ago of the famously impartial, very legitimate Washington Post:

See Ace’s latest for why that’s “newsworthy.”

Update: Via the Daily Caller, here’s Scarborough caring a little about Benghazi and caring a lot about making sure that people know those wingnuts have gone kuh-ray-zee in overselling it.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Advocacy? Never on our network.
Oh, Bishop!

LeftCoastRight on May 8, 2013 at 1:24 PM

Well, Benghazi is currently the most popular story on CBSnews.com, beating out all the Cleveland kidnapping stories. That’s something.

scalleywag on May 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

I don’t think about who’s good and who’s bad. I just go where the story leads. . . . People can say what they want about me, I don’t care. I just want to get the information out there

If only we had more like her. She is just merely talking about basic fundamental journalism 101. CBS doesn’t like it because it’s not their flavor of advocacy…..

Keep it up, Ms. Atkisson, you’re doing it right.

ted c on May 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Remember when “fake but accurate” was an accepted threshold?

So, when a reporter starts to tread into “accurate, and not fake” land, well, that just upsets the apple cart in so many ways.

coldwarrior on May 8, 2013 at 1:26 PM

I suspect that J.D. Mullane, who has been tireless in providing coverage of the Kermit Gosnell trial, will find himself being similarly “ghettoized.”

Gator Country on May 8, 2013 at 1:27 PM

It’s also the most discussed topic on cbsnews.com

scalleywag on May 8, 2013 at 1:28 PM

…network sources have told POLITICO.

CBS is undermining their own reporter through another outlet? That’s extraordinarily weak. Genuine cowards.

forest on May 8, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Good, Fox needs to mix it up with some brunettes. Scarborough is an idiot, story at 11.

Cindy Munford on May 8, 2013 at 1:33 PM

LSM dictionary:

‘Advocacy’ — Reporting a story as the facts dictate, as they exist.

‘Bias’ — Anything a Conservative says.

‘Journalism’ — Telling a story that favors liberalism and liberal persons, most importantly Obama; considered and highly-valued as “responsible”.

Liam on May 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Who’s tweeting about Benghazi? Rich, middle-aged men and Chick-fil-A lovers wapo.st/18YFgKP

— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 8, 2013

I guess the WaPo is only interested in ‘The Truth’ when a Republican is in the WH. If Nixon had only been a Democrat…

Resist We Much on May 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Advocacy for the truth?

Blake on May 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM

Todd thinks it is funny. That about says it all.

pat on May 8, 2013 at 1:35 PM

Well, Benghazi is currently the most popular story on CBSnews.com, beating out all the Cleveland kidnapping stories. That’s something.

scalleywag on May 8, 2013 at 1:25 PM

WHOA! That’s amazing! Too bad that the network will be focusing on the kidnappings 50:1 over the Bengazi hearings. Well, maybe 50:0…

HiJack on May 8, 2013 at 1:36 PM

CBS News, which has grown increasingly frustrated with Attkisson’s Benghazi campaign. CBS News executives see Attkisson wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue

…yep!…they are experts at it!

KOOLAID2 on May 8, 2013 at 1:39 PM

Jeazy Petes. What does it matter that Al Quaida committed a terrorist act that killed a United States Diplomat? Are holding hearings about the security failings at the consulate going to bring the dead back to life? Why does it even matter that the administration obfuscated and stuck to cover story that it new was false? Also this is very old news.

Is this the real position of our “neutral” “un-biased” press? Is any other position really right wing advocacy? I would say for shame, but the palace guard is obviously incapable of that emotion. What is their BS motto again, comfort the powerful and afflict the downtrodden?

Shtetl G on May 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I guess the WaPo is only interested in ‘The Truth’ when a Republican is in the WH. If Nixon had only been a Democrat…

Resist We Much on May 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM

If Nixon had been a Democrat, we’d still be fighting in Vietnam.

Liam on May 8, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Jeazy Petes. What does it matter that Al Quaida committed a terrorist act that killed a United States Diplomat? Are holding hearings about the security failings at the consulate going to bring the dead back to life? Why does it even matter that the administration obfuscated and stuck to cover story that it new was false? Also this is very old news.

Is this the real position of our “neutral” “un-biased” press? Is any other position really right wing advocacy? I would say for shame, but the palace guard is obviously incapable of that emotion. What is their BS motto again, comfort the powerful and afflict the downtrodden?

Shtetl G on May 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Yeah, you’re right. “What difference does it make?”

HiJack on May 8, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Oh, I See BS, alright.

ghostwalker1 on May 8, 2013 at 1:45 PM

The second Goliath is CBS News, which has grown increasingly frustrated with Attkisson’s Benghazi campaign.

“Campaign”? And here I thought it was called “reporting”.

But, then, I suppose the way CBS does things they’re pretty much the same in their minds.

Socratease on May 8, 2013 at 1:46 PM

I think it’s really critical that CBS’s lead story tonight is about Kardasian’s plastic surgery or Obama’s favorite food.

What does this Bengazis stuff matter anyway?

acyl72 on May 8, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Lead story on CBS.com is Amanda Berry’s return home. Unreal.

Hat Trick on May 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM

Watch your backside, Sharyl Attkisson.

d1carter on May 8, 2013 at 1:52 PM

“Media” like this only leads to cranks like Alex Jones.

People know the media is lying and covering crap up.

Did they really not know about Bernie Maddof for 30+ years?

Did they really not know about Enron?

Did they really not know about Obamacare being a disaster?

Etc…

They media is just really crappy.

They don’t report anything.

tetriskid on May 8, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Bottom line is that this story is playing out on Fox and to some extent talk radio and blogs.

Gutfeld is right. It will have no legs at all because it’s being and has been buried.

CNN is wall to wall with the missing girls story, MSNBC is irrelevant and the Networks and AP will cover the story (if at all) as a political witchhunt by Republicans.

This story will not sink Obama and it won’t sink Clinton. Why? 98 percent of Americans have no clue nor interest in it. By design.

AYNBLAND on May 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Lead story on CBS.com is Amanda Berry’s return home. Unreal.

Hat Trick on May 8, 2013 at 1:49 PM

That little matter?

And here I thought it would be Kim Kardashian’s baby bump and how great she looks in a sparkly evening gown.

Liam on May 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Bottom line is that this story is playing out on Fox and to some extent talk radio and blogs.

Gutfeld is right. It will have no legs at all because it’s being and has been buried.

CNN is wall to wall with the missing girls story, MSNBC is irrelevant and the Networks and AP will cover the story (if at all) as a political witchhunt by Republicans.

This story will not sink Obama and it won’t sink Clinton. Why? 98 percent of Americans have no clue nor interest in it. By design.

AYNBLAND on May 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Rush Limbaugh’s running commentary has been excellent.

tom daschle concerned on May 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

Go ahead and fire her CBS..Fox will pick her up the next day and would be fools not to..i could be wrong but wasn’t she the same reporter who did some very good reports on Obama’s other cover up, Fast and Furious?

sadsushi on May 8, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Advocacy … these stories show that the press expects advocacy .. just not against a Democratic Administration.

J_Crater on May 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM

Advocacy……YOU MEAN LIKE THIS?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGBLAKq8xwc

PappyD61 on May 8, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Did they really not know about Bernie Maddof for 30+ years?

Politicians greed in D.C. would make Maddof envious.

PappyD61 on May 8, 2013 at 2:05 PM

What is their BS motto again, comfort the powerful and afflict the downtrodden?

Shtetl G on May 8, 2013 at 1:40 PM

No. It’s “from each according to his ability, to each according top his needs”.

Cleombrotus on May 8, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Brilliant post, AP.

Atkisson looks like Republican tool only because of the context, which is that of a propagandizing leftist talking points factory. But you knew that.

MTF on May 8, 2013 at 2:10 PM

Sadly, imo, this whole chapter of Benghazi is already half-way down the memory hole and will be characterized across nearly every part of the political/cultural spectrum as a partisan nothingburger.

CNN/MSNBC aren’t even covering the hearing because what difference does it make? CBS and WaPo are doing their “wingnutty wingnuts gotta hate” thing. CBS in particular cant wait to fire Sharyl Attkisson because her torch is burning far too close to the network’s most precious and beloved President and Hillary Clinton.

Elijah Cummings is doing the job he was born to do, etc. Stewart, Colbert, Bill Maher et al will get many laughs from their audiences smacking these dumb evil wingnutty wingnuts.

A double sawbuck says network news programs tonight give it less space on air than they give Jodi Arias and/or babies learning to water-ski.

Headlines across the country tomorrow will scream “WH Whallops Wingnutty Witch Hunt Against Hillary/Obama.”

don’t want to be a cynic, but Game.Set.Match, to the lasting detriment of the country.

Sacramento on May 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

How dare she ask questions, investigate, and report!

farsighted on May 8, 2013 at 2:11 PM

She’s as dangerous to the liberal masters as is a black conservative. They can’t have their own being honest because it breaks the truth shield they’ve spent years building.

Don L on May 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Rush Limbaugh’s running commentary has been excellent.

tom daschle concerned on May 8, 2013 at 1:55 PM

I’m not impressed. In fact, I’m quite disturbed that Rush is clinging fiercely to the “inept and klutzy” theory, and a little while ago blew off a caller that tried to take him down the “WHY was the Ambassador in Benghazi?” road to understanding the gun-running that underlays all of this.

bofh on May 8, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Amb. Chris Stevens was unavailable for comment.

Ward Cleaver on May 8, 2013 at 2:28 PM

bofh on May 8, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Agreed. I’ve pretty much had it wish Rush for some time now.

Cleombrotus on May 8, 2013 at 2:31 PM

wish = with

Cleombrotus on May 8, 2013 at 2:32 PM

bofh on May 8, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Until gun running can be established it doesn’t do any good to build on the theory. While I admit that today’s revelation that it was to upgrade the consulate in Benghazi seem like so much b.s. to me.

Cindy Munford on May 8, 2013 at 2:39 PM

It should be clear that the bifurcation of this country is complete.

Why even bother attempting to be civil with those who hold views which can never be reconciled with your own?

I pray the country disintegrates first from fiscal malfeasance rather than a complete schism of moral and social issues. If it is the latter, expect an angry battle of Philippi…and then Manassas. This is one ugly, divided, broken down crappy country. I have utter contempt for half the populace and all of the government.

I hope I brightened your day!

PeaceAtAllCosts on May 8, 2013 at 2:43 PM

Advocacy for what, the truth?

scalleywag on May 8, 2013 at 3:10 PM

Hehe…

This ain’t the network of Ed Murrow or Mike Wallace anymore, now is it?

Robert_Paulson on May 8, 2013 at 3:11 PM

What if we applied the same rules that they apply to Amb. Stevens and the other three to the Gabby Giffords shooting, or newtown.

“It happened a long time ago. What difference does it now make?”

kurtzz3 on May 8, 2013 at 3:13 PM

I wonder if most of the news media in Nazi Germany were suck-ups to Hitler in the early days.

Yeah, that’s right. I went there.

doufree on May 8, 2013 at 3:22 PM

CBS is likely to run an apology for the inadvertent hiring of an actual journalist to their news division.

applebutter on May 8, 2013 at 3:23 PM

The protest is enough to tell you they found the right button to push.. now to jump up and down on it with both feet.

jomondo44 on May 8, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Ed says Ms. Attkinson’s twitter feed on the hearings has disappeared.

Cindy Munford on May 8, 2013 at 3:38 PM

Report: CBS grumpy that Sharyl Attkisson’s Benghazi scoops are “wading dangerously close to advocacytruth

Fixed it. If there was a Republican in the White House, Attkisson would be in line for a Pulitzer.

TarheelBen on May 8, 2013 at 4:28 PM

As it happens, Attkisson has won recognition for tough stories on Republicans, too, such as an Emmy-winning series on the Bush administration’s bank bailout and an investigation of fundraising tactics by Republican congressmen at a Florida resort last year.

In other words she’s an objective thinker rather than a partisan thinker. What’s she doing in journalism??

CrustyB on May 8, 2013 at 4:51 PM

“This is a newspaper, we can’t have journalism going on here!”

slickwillie2001 on May 8, 2013 at 4:53 PM

Free Sharyl Attkisson!

d1carter on May 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Just went over to the CBS website: Cleveland, Cleveland, Texas, Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio (Cleveland), Utah Ref-puncher.

So the national press does do local stories.

Meanwhile, we have a national story about Benghazi, relegated to the side bar and bottom of page.

It seems to me that the main thing they have in common is libs don’t want to hear them. They are already “getting coverage from Fox” as they have said on some stories. You know, like if there was another terrorist bombing and Fox was there first, the others wouldn’t need to show up because Fox was already covering it.

I just wonder how much cognitive dissonance I’ll be force-fed before enough people accept that the media is biased toward liberals.

Axeman on May 8, 2013 at 5:09 PM

As a reporter, Sharyl Attkisson has done a great job in reporting on the Benghazi story, pretty much right from the start.

Bob Schieffer, however, has been a Johnnie-come-lately, given his sudden and recent expressions of surprise about the serious questions that have been raised regarding the existing security problems prior to the the attack, the immediate reaction of the Administration to the attack at the time, and the public reactions by persons at the highest level of the Obama Administration.

Where was Bob back during the fall election season?

As for the related role of CBS as a so-called responsible media network, all anyone has to remember is the network’s intentional suppression of a key portion of the CBS 60 Minutes interview of President Obama on the afternoon of September 12th, by reporter Steve Kroft.

Here was a part that was mysteriously cut out of the program and only released by CBS, without any fanfare, a few days prior to the election.

From the September 12th interview:

. . .
KROFT: Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya attack, do you believe that this was a terrorism attack?

OBAMA: Well it’s too early to tell exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans. And we are going to be working with the Libyan government to make sure that we bring these folks to justice, one way or the other.
. . . .

There was, of course, more of the Kroft interview with the President that was intentionally suppressed by CBS than the key but brief portion I included above, and there is an undeniable connection of that suppressed video to future developments that unfolded during the Presidential campaign, and which bring into serious question the role played by both Steve Kroft and others at CBS 60 Minutes. One obvious question is, why was that portion of the interview deleted from the original broadcast? Did anyone in the Obama Administration request that Kroft hold back on broadcasting that portion? And if so, why did CBS comply with that request?

But most importantly, more than a full month after that interview, on October 17, 2012, the President and Mitt Romney engaged in the second of three Presidential debates, during which Romney charged that Obama had failed for 14 days after the attack to clearly state that the attack in Benghazi had a terror attack. Yet Obama challenged that assertion, and claimed that he had clearly stated it was a terror attack the very next day — on September 12th — and he then was wrongly backed up at that moment by debate moderator Candy Crowley on the question! “Candy? Snap to, sir!”

The important thing to remember now is that Steve Kroft, CBS 60 Minutes, and perhaps others at the CBS network, had videotape proof in their possession that Obama and Crowley were dead wrong, via the as-yet-unreleased portion of the Kroft interview from September 12th.

Why, then, did they continue to suppress what was clearly at that moment a hot news item? Why did CBS not cover the dispute the next day?

How does Steve Kroft still have a job, given the proof that he intentionally sat on and suppressed newsworthy information for partisan political reasons — especially after the Dan Rather scandal? Has nothing changed there?

Was Bob Schieffer, top CBS anchor aware of that tape? If so, why did he not bring it up during the third debate, when he was the moderator? Why did CBS sit on that tape until a few days prior to the election, when it was too late to matter?

I think we all know what the answers are. And, I think we all also know why Sharyl Attkisson, with her good reporting, is making them grumpy over at the “Tiffany” network.

Trochilus on May 8, 2013 at 5:15 PM

That, in part, is why Attkisson is in talks to leave CBS ahead of contract, as POLITICO reported in April.

Here’s hoping she’s talking with Fox.

petefrt on May 8, 2013 at 5:51 PM

In other words she’s an objective thinker rather than a partisan thinker. What’s she doing in journalism??

CrustyB on May 8, 2013 at 4:51 PM

Indeed she is a rare and endangered creature for the MSM. I sense a FOX News contract or her going solo in the “New Media” and getting into blogging or something.

Yakko77 on May 8, 2013 at 5:52 PM

Free Sharyl Attkisson!

d1carter on May 8, 2013 at 5:05 PM

Yeah, apparently she was shut down on Twitter about 5 hours ago. Probably by CBS?

petefrt on May 8, 2013 at 6:00 PM

As for Scarborough, it’s beginning to sound a little suspiciously like somebody “got to” Joe. A year or two ago, Joe was (rightfully) making fun of Mika for openly reading from Obama Administration talking points. Now he’s becoming their parrot?

Trochilus on May 8, 2013 at 6:00 PM

So what,
Our government used the death of diplomats at the hands of terrorists to hammer away at free speech by going after some schmo with a video; likening it to dangerous speech such as shouting “fire” in a movie theater.

Never let it be said that Hillary and the Prez let a crisis go to waste.

notalemon on May 8, 2013 at 9:12 PM

Lickspittle media worried that Attkisson may dry up their O-spittle supply with the heat she generates on Benghazi.

profitsbeard on May 9, 2013 at 1:31 AM