Attkisson: CBS News too “ideologically entrenched” to air stories critical of the Obama administration

posted at 8:01 am on April 21, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

CNN’s Brian Stelter broadcast a two-part interview with former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson to review her accusations of political bias at CBS News — and to take on the critics she has acquired over the last year or so. Attkisson told the Reliable Sources host that the departure of top executives in the wake of Katie Couric’s flop brought in “ideologically entrenched” managers who resented her investigative reporting on the Obama administration (via Jim Hoft):

STELTER: Let me read this from “The Washington Post.” This is in March 10th, right around the time you were resigning from CBS. And Erik Wimple wrote, according to a CBS News source you felt you were being kept off “CBS Evening News” because of political considerations. Did you feel that way? I mean, were there political considerations at times?

ATTKISSON: You know, it’s fairly well discussed inside CBS News that there are some managers recently who have been so ideologically entrenched that there is a feeling and discussion that some of them, certainly not all of them, have a difficult time viewing a story that may reflect negatively upon government or the administration as a story of value.

STELTER: So you’re saying they are liberal or Democrats?

ATTKISSON: I don’t know what their registered party is, I just know that the tendency on the part of some of these managers who have key influences has been they never mind the stories that seem to, for example, and I did plenty of them, go against the grain of the Republican Party, but they do often seem to feel defensive about, almost, personally defensive about stories that could make the government look bad. Even if it’s something as simple as a government waste story that doesn’t pinpoint anybody in particularly and it takes on both parties. It seems as though some of them were sensitive about any story that might appear as though it criticizes the government.

STELTER: A couple of news story about your resignation cited one particular executive, Patricia Shevlin, who was executive producer of the “CBS Evening News”, as someone that you clashed (ph) with. Is that an example of someone you felt had this ideological stand and was uncomfortable with stories about the administration that were unflattering.

ATTKISSON: Pat Shevlin was the executive producer of the “Evening News”, and I think there’s no secret that there were a number of people at CBS News that had some serious issues, but it wasn’t isolated to that alone. I think –

STELTER: You said serious issues. What do you mean?

ATTKISSON: There were discussions about certain types of stories that got on the air. There were discussions about the heavy-handed editing. In other words, we had not experienced — at least I had not experienced and some of them said they had not experienced the extent to which some of the editing went on.

That may not be just her. There are certainly a group of managers in what they call the fishbowl of New York who are responsible. So, it’s hard to say it’s all at the guidance of her, but that she is executive producer of the show.

In the second part of the interview, Attkisson took on her critics — including Media Matters, which she suggested may have gotten paid to target her:

ATTKISSON: I do think, again, that’s a campaign by those who really want to controversialize the reporting I do so you wouldn’t listen to it, because if anybody took a few minutes really just do a Google search, you would see the dozens and dozens of stories I’ve done that were, in many cases, complemented by liberal press and other liberals as being a very good story, and I have been criticized by the conservative side in the past.

So, I think it wouldn’t take — it wouldn’t take much for someone –

STELTER: Do you think that’s what Media Matters is doing? Media Matters has been campaigning against you and saying you’ve been inaccurate in your reporting, is that what they’re doing? They’re just trying to controversialize the issue?

ATTKISSON: Media Matters, as my understanding, is a far left blog group that I think holds itself out to be sort of an independent watchdog group. And yes, they clearly targeted me at some point. They used to work with me on stories and tried to help me produce my stories, and at some point –

STELTER: That’s interesting.

ATTKISSON: Well, I think they call — don’t they call you? I mean, they call journalists and they’re trying to –

STELTER: Right, they’re always emailing things, making us –

(CROSSTALK)

STELTER: — try to act outraged about something, right?

ATTKISSON: And I was certainly friendly with them as anybody, good information can come from any source. But when I persisted with Fast and Furious and some of the green energy stories I was doing, I clearly at some point became a target, that they — you know, I don’t know if someone paid them to do it or if they took it on their own. But they were very much –

STELTER: Do you think that’s possible that someone paid them?

ATTKISSON: Well, they get contributions from — yes, they get contributions from –

STELTER: But specifically to target you?

ATTKISSON: Perhaps, sure. I think that’s what some of these groups do, absolutely.

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched. Media Matters goes after any media outlet and any story that reflects poorly on the Obama administration. The problem for Attkisson is that she was one of the relatively few reporters willing to pursue in-depth investigative work on Operation Fast & Furious, the disaster of Healthcare.gov, and especially on Benghazi. Jan Crawford at CBS is another, and she got the same treatment. That’s more or less Media Matters’ mission — to act as media bodyguard for the Obama administration — and Attkisson, Crawford, and anyone else who dares to speak a little truth to power will get targeted as a matter of course.

The link to the departure of Couric is a little intriguing, especially since conservatives generally derided Couric for the same kind of bias and lack of hard-news instinct that Attkisson now reveals at CBS News. The change in executive management after the failure of the Couric era seems to have spelled the beginning of the end for Attkisson. Perhaps for conservatives, this is a case of being careful what one wishes for, or maybe just a moment of clarification by CBS about what kind of news division it really wanted after Couric’s departure. After all, someone hired the new “ideologically entrenched” management of which Attkisson ran afoul, and they don’t appear to be going anywhere in the wake of her accusations.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Did anybody expect behavior any different from the Presstorian Guard?

Steve Eggleston on April 21, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Media Matters’ mission: Covering Obama’s backside—one lie at a time.

Rovin on April 21, 2014 at 8:06 AM

CBS News too “ideologically entrenched” to air stories critical of the Obama administration

This isn’t exactly a shocker of a revelation. History will not be kind to the how the media became propagandists and apologists for the lazy stupid rat-eared wonder.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 8:09 AM

And as in the tank as CBS and the LSM are for Obama, he STILL wants to put Regime Monitors into news rooms.

ConstantineXI on April 21, 2014 at 8:09 AM

I wish FNC would ditch Shep and hire her.

ConstantineXI on April 21, 2014 at 8:10 AM

The link to the departure of Couric is a little intriguing, especially since conservatives generally derided Couric for the same kind of bias and lack of hard-news instinct that Attkisson now reveals at CBS News. The change in executive management after the failure of the Couric era seems to have spelled the beginning of the end for Attkisson. Perhaps for conservatives, this is a case of being careful what one wishes for, or maybe just a moment of clarification by CBS about what kind of news division it really wanted after Couric’s departure. After all, someone hired the new “ideologically entrenched” management of which Attkisson ran afoul, and they don’t appear to be going anywhere in the wake of her accusations.

Now, where did I put my cheat sheet of familial ties between the Presstitute Organs and the Obama White House/DemocRAT Party Mob? I’ll take door number two, with the addition of scare quotes around “news”.

Steve Eggleston on April 21, 2014 at 8:12 AM

The source of news is the first element of the story these days. Generally speaking if it’s legacy media reporting or promoting it I’m skeptical of it. That’s not my fault.

DanMan on April 21, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Did anybody expect behavior any different from the Presstorian Guard?

Steve Eggleston on April 21, 2014 at 8:06 AM

Not when you’ve got George Stephanopoulus and Candy Crowley colluding with the Obama campaign during debates, the President of CBS News the brother of a Presidential National Security advisor, the White House Press Secretary (and former journalist) married to an ABC senior correspondent……etc.

There is so much incest between the media and the Obama administration that they’ve all become mindless inbred hacks. Though I really think the nadir was when Crowley put down her bucket of extra crispy and waved around that transcript while lying her ass off about what Obama had said on 9/12/12 concerning Benghazi (just before jetting off to parties in Vegas).

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 8:13 AM

Kudos to Sharyl

cmsinaz on April 21, 2014 at 8:13 AM

We’ve always known this but it’s nice to hear someone actually come out and talk about the extent. Too bad he cut her off before she said who was paying Media Matters but it may have only been a general term such as left-wing organizations. And I wonder if CNN was also involved. Probably not or they wouldn’t have aired this interview.

crankyoldlady on April 21, 2014 at 8:14 AM

I wish FNC would ditch Shep and hire her.

ConstantineXI on April 21, 2014 at 8:10 AM

I wish FNC would ditch Shep, hiring Attkisson optional.

Seriously, for some reason Shep has always given me the creeps. Even before his anti-Bush rant at the Morial Convention Center after Katrina.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 8:15 AM

…I guess there are no laws for suppressing free speech?

KOOLAID2 on April 21, 2014 at 8:16 AM

Lara Logan was tossed under the bus,…for saying,……….

Lara Logan: Obama lying, al-Qaeda and Taliban stronger than ever
Robert Spencer Oct 8, 2012 at 4:02pm
*************************************

http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/10/lara-logan-obama-lying-al-qaeda-and-taliban-stronger-than-ever

canopfor on April 21, 2014 at 8:19 AM

3rd that HN

cmsinaz on April 21, 2014 at 8:20 AM

Ian Birrell ‏@ianbirrell 3h

UK below Namibia MT @StefSimanowitz Press freedom map. White = Good, Yellow OK, Orange Problems, Red Bad, Black V bad pic.twitter.com/QYBBfxJmpU
====================================================================

https://twitter.com/StefSimanowitz/status/458163265596850176/photo/1

canopfor on April 21, 2014 at 8:22 AM

This shows the main driver of ideological bias in the newsroom at CBS is management. Let’s hope for some key retirements in the coming years. Maybe after all the Woody McWoodstocks on the editorial boards retire, the bias problem might just be solvable.

Sekhmet on April 21, 2014 at 8:23 AM

Even if it’s something as simple as a government waste story that doesn’t pinpoint anybody in particularly and it takes on both parties. It seems as though some of them were sensitive about any story that might appear as though it criticizes the government.

Govt waste — for years I’ve noticed the network nightly news rarely if ever talks about govt inefficiencies or such as welfare fraud, medicare/medicaid fraud. And even ABCnews, which I’d thought was more balanced than CBS or NBC, often causes me to gasp at their liberal slant. Whoever writes the text that’s spoken on the air, I find at least one outrageous characterization in every evening broadcast.

LashRambo on April 21, 2014 at 8:25 AM

And so,

thr Marxist Socialist Media have been in BLACKOUT,
the day Hopey/Changey and Goons,..planned
the Take-Over of America, er, his running
for POTUSA back in 07/08!!

canopfor on April 21, 2014 at 8:25 AM

And as in the tank as CBS and the LSM are for Obama, he STILL wants to put Regime Monitors into news rooms.

ConstantineXI on April 21, 2014 at 8:09 AM

The Praetorian Guard double-crossed the Emperor more than once, so I’m not surprised Team SCOAMT wants to try to ensure the same doesn’t happen with the Presstorian Guard.

Steve Eggleston on April 21, 2014 at 8:26 AM

Seriously, for some reason Shep has always given me the creeps. Even before his anti-Bush rant at the Morial Convention Center after Katrina.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Sat Nite Live does a killer impersonation of him, centering on the “creepy” angle.

LashRambo on April 21, 2014 at 8:27 AM

MeanWhile:

Ukrainian Updates ‏@Ukroblogger 4h

#Euromaidan activist/reporter Irma Krat abducted in #Sloviansk. #Slovyansk #Ukraine #RussianInvasion #Slavyansk pic.twitter.com/8Ca6jctYgO

https://twitter.com/Ukroblogger/status/458154503594713088/photo/1/large

canopfor on April 21, 2014 at 8:27 AM

You know, it’s fairly well discussed inside CBS News that there are some managers recently who have been so ideologically entrenched

It’s not blind ideological groupthink. It’s expressly intentional, and not limited to CBS.

rbj on April 21, 2014 at 8:28 AM

MeanWhile:

Ukrainian Updates ‏@Ukroblogger 4h

#Euromaidan activist/reporter Irma Krat abducted in #Sloviansk. #Slovyansk #Ukraine #RussianInvasion #Slavyansk pic.twitter.com/8Ca6jctYgO

https://twitter.com/Ukroblogger/status/458154503594713088/photo/1/large

canopfor on April 21, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Obviously a Western/Ukranian plot, which we will gladly use as justification to retake the entirety of Ukraine </Pro-Russian_Gang>

Steve Eggleston on April 21, 2014 at 8:29 AM

This shows the main driver of ideological bias in the newsroom at CBS is management. Let’s hope for some key retirements in the coming years. Maybe after all the Woody McWoodstocks on the editorial boards retire, the bias problem might just be solvable.

Sekhmet on April 21, 2014 at 8:23 AM

I doubt it. They keep getting their people from the same places. It’s a system that goes all the way back to elementary school.

crankyoldlady on April 21, 2014 at 8:31 AM

I admire her courage. It’s almost as if she broke away from a closed religious sect or cult and is now free to speak the truth

jaywemm on April 21, 2014 at 8:34 AM

Patricia Shevlin was switched out as Executive Producer of CBS Evening News in March 2014. So Attkisson has caused some rearranging of deck chairs at the minimum. Shevlin went to 60 Minutes. They seem to use these older women like Lerner and Shevlin so when the magnifying glass gets used on them they can just retire or go somewhere less obvious. Are they ideologues or being paid or maybe both?

Mormaer on April 21, 2014 at 8:34 AM

The problem for Attkisson is that she was one of the relatively few reporters willing to pursue in-depth investigative work on Operation Fast & Furious, the disaster of Healthcare.gov, and especially on Benghazi.

And that’s why I think she’s absolutely right about being targeted. She was one of the few willing to go against The One. One voice is all that is needed and they had to silence her.

crazywater on April 21, 2014 at 8:35 AM

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched.

That’s a bit naive, Ed. Especially coming from you.

Yes, of course MM specifically targets anyone who does not agree with the liberal Democrat view. They have been staunch defenders of the Obama Administration at the continuous cost of the truth.

But there is also communication and coordination between the organization and their benefactors on specific targets. Ask anyone who has litigated against MM or in the process of doing so. It is a horrendous propaganda and hit-piece machine that does nothing which is truthful or honest.

Marcus Traianus on April 21, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Face it, we’ve had a left wing takeover in this country, and they don’t like opposition. They’ll pull any trick behind the scenes to crush their opponents.

oldennis on April 21, 2014 at 8:40 AM

He uses the entire interview to hammer CBS and makes the comment in the intro, “I also asked her some important questions Fox had not asked her.”

Good for Attkisson getting out there. But this is just another example of the dog eat dog world of news media. He doesn’t give a crap about pointing out the liberal bias of CBS. He wants to improve the footing of his network which is probably as liberally slanted or worse than the rest.

hawkdriver on April 21, 2014 at 8:41 AM

canopfor on April 21, 2014 at 8:27 AM

Obviously a Western/Ukranian plot, which we will gladly use as justification to retake the entirety of Ukraine

Steve Eggleston on April 21, 2014 at 8:29 AM

Steve Eggleston: Lol,..ya,..the Rooskie’s are waiting for an excuse!!:)

canopfor on April 21, 2014 at 8:41 AM

I think disgust of Shep is a lot higher among the male population than the female. He doesn’t bother me but I don’t care that he isn’t very masculine. There are plenty of other masculine guys around.

crankyoldlady on April 21, 2014 at 8:44 AM

Ask anyone who has litigated against MM or in the process of doing so. It is a horrendous propaganda and hit-piece machine that does nothing which is truthful or honest.

Marcus Traianus on April 21, 2014 at 8:37 AM

David Brock, who went from writing Right-wing hit pieces on the Left to coming out as gay to become a Left-wing hit man on the Right, founded Media Matters. It’s a shock that anyone trusts him or what he says or does. Who is he, really.

LashRambo on April 21, 2014 at 8:49 AM

I think disgust of Shep is a lot higher among the male population than the female. He doesn’t bother me but I don’t care that he isn’t very masculine. There are plenty of other masculine guys around.

crankyoldlady on April 21, 2014 at 8:44 AM

I hate his self-righteous whining.

BuckeyeSam on April 21, 2014 at 8:49 AM

@cranky:

Any job not expressly political is not guaranteed to have people whose ideological “soundness” matches their competence. Back when the editors were in school, or were cub reporters, KGB activity helped choose those who were both competent and ideologically simpatico. But some time in the mid 1980s or so, the USSR was having too many issues to worry about the ideological soundness of the editorial staff of the Bugtussle Picayune. The “kids” the USSR ceased directly influencing are in their 40s now.

So Moonbeam McGrath at the AP has as potential successors 45-year-olds who are *either* competent *or* equally ideologically committed. Miss Ideologue will get the office in a scandal, or Mister Competent may just not have a single phuck to give about The Cause, when there’s a scoop at stake.

Sekhmet on April 21, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Has Atkinson said who hacked her computers yet?

gracie on April 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM

OT: I just did a Bing search on her. She has to be among the yummiest 53-year-olds around. Plus, the bio I found said she has a black belt in TaeKwonDo.

One other thing: In the second part of Stelter’s interview, he brought up some reporting on vaccines. What was that about? Is she Jenny McCarthy’s twin sister on that issue? Just asking. I started hearing about her only after she began getting under Obama’s skin with her reporting within the past two or three years.

BuckeyeSam on April 21, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Has Atkinson said who hacked her computers yet?

gracie on April 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Attkisson

gracie on April 21, 2014 at 8:58 AM

Has Atkinson said who hacked her computers yet?

gracie on April 21, 2014 at 8:55 AM

I saw her interview with Kurtz on Fox yesterday–or part of it–and I think she said that she and her lawyer are not ready to talk about that. Maybe they’re still tracking that down before they begin hurling accusations. Maybe she’s saving it for the book.

BuckeyeSam on April 21, 2014 at 8:59 AM

Hope she’s ready to have her character trashed and mutilated.

MT on April 21, 2014 at 9:00 AM

The link to the departure of Couric is a little intriguing, especially since conservatives generally derided Couric for the same kind of bias and lack of hard-news instinct that Attkisson now reveals at CBS News.

One of Couric’s main goals appeared to be empowering women within TV news. Which could be why in part reporters like Attkisson, Crawford or Lara Logan were given higher priority on the CBS Evening News (and possibly may have allowed them to be more wide-ranging in their reporting). Once Katie was gone and the new regime was in place, you could see the increasing marginalization of those reporters who failed to toe the ideological line no matter what their gender (Logan got a bit more leeway due in part to her ordeal in Cairo during the liberals’ cherished ‘Arab Spring’. But her Benghazi story on “60 Minutes” was savaged by the left, and her bosses at CBS pretty much threw her under the bus instead of coming to her defense).

jon1979 on April 21, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched.

That’s a bit naive, Ed. Especially coming from you.

Marcus Traianus on April 21, 2014 at 8:37 AM

Yup, it’s not all that hard to believe.

Brock’s group, founded in 2004, is spending $20 million this year in a campaign to influence news coverage that sheds a positive image on the current administration as well as progressives and lawmakers in Congress.

And the campaign is going well, according to a former employee who told the DC that “virtually all the mainstream media” has used Media Matters’ research.

“We were pretty much writing their prime time,” the ex-employee was quoted saying of MSNBC

.

Fallon on April 21, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Mmmm, hot older women.

#BuckFarack

Nutstuyu on April 21, 2014 at 9:04 AM

BuckeyeSam on April 21, 2014 at 8:57 AM

looks like a way for the left to attack her credibility by dissing her questioning of the safety of vaccines. she reads the literature and brings it forward but I don’t know that she’s JM’s soul sister on this. JM recently backed off her anti-vaccine rhetoric when she began realizing that the unvaccinated are a major health risk to themselves and others.

gracie on April 21, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched

Good grief! Wake the hell up, man.

Cleombrotus on April 21, 2014 at 9:13 AM

I was somewhat skeptical of how far the media bias went right up until the Yee gun-running arrest. They treated it as a local story, but the fact that it hit them in the ideological boiler room was obvious. I view the mainstream media as a propaganda organization more odious than that of the Soviet Union because it is more insidious.

claudius on April 21, 2014 at 9:18 AM

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched

Right!

We have a third rate junior Senator whom no one seems to have any recollection of being in his class at Columbia; produces, after a long campaign to get him to produce, a questionable birth certificate; whose other past records are sealed and cannot be examined; who accomplished nothing legislatively in his ONE YEAR AS A JUNIOR SENATOR; who had legitimately questionable influences in his formative years; who peoples his administration with known Leftist radicals; and who somehow manages to be handed TWICE the keys to the most powerful position of political influence in the world – all with the assistance of a press who goes out of its way to defend him and his administration and what they are doing -

and to you it seems “a little far-fetched”!?

No wonder our side is losing.

Cleombrotus on April 21, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched.

You can’t be serious. But this is HotAir, so why am I surprised?

rrpjr on April 21, 2014 at 9:35 AM

David Brock, who went from writing Right-wing hit pieces on the Left to coming out as gay to become a Left-wing hit man on the Right, founded Media Matters. It’s a shock that anyone trusts him or what he says or does. Who is he, really.

LashRambo on April 21, 2014 at 8:49 AM

I wonder if he’s related to Charlie Crist …

Mark Boabaca on April 21, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Color me surprised!

neyney on April 21, 2014 at 9:44 AM

I think disgust of Shep is a lot higher among the male population than the female. He doesn’t bother me but I don’t care that he isn’t very masculine. There are plenty of other masculine guys around.

crankyoldlady on April 21, 2014 at 8:44 AM

I can’t watch him for longer than about five minutes without having to resist the urge to throw something at the TV…and go take a bath.

Oldnuke on April 21, 2014 at 9:47 AM

Stay safe, Sharyl.

d1carter on April 21, 2014 at 9:51 AM

So, did CBS assist in hacking her computer..?

d1carter on April 21, 2014 at 9:56 AM

See BS.

GarandFan on April 21, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Just musings.

I have long held that the MSM is is infested with true believers. That is likely true, but not the whole story. Her deliberate attempts to inject “corporate interests” into the interview was interesting. It may be that the “news” outlets are under the proverbial gun by outside powers, namely the administration and large advertisers. The object is to preserve the current system of crony capitalism.

Nice network youse got here, it’d be shame…

FOWG1 on April 21, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched.

No it isn’t…”Here is $50,000, just don’t give her any slack, take her out if you have to, if you do, another little contribution will be waiting”…

right2bright on April 21, 2014 at 10:08 AM

The point of the state media is to advance the cause of the governing class.

Doing investigative reporting on the governing class does not help in this, so Attkisson became a liability to the state media and had to be dealt with…

18-1 on April 21, 2014 at 10:21 AM

If the rich on the Right want to do something constructive, they should develop an effective, large electronic and print propaganda system to neutralize the Left. Anything less and the left wing US media will continue to ride roughshod over the truth.

rplat on April 21, 2014 at 10:24 AM

I view the mainstream media as a propaganda organization more odious than that of the Soviet Union because it is more insidious.

In the Soviet Union, questioning the state would get you thrown in prison.

At least for now questioning the state will merely get you the Attkisson treatment.

The fact that only a handful of reporters are willing to take on this kind of risk to actually do journalism speaks to how they aren’t journalists any more.

Of course ultimately this isn’t a matter of bias, and hasn’t been since 2004 or so. The media identifies its own purpose to support the governing class. Expecting them to act at journalists instead of propagandists is a mistake.

It would be nice to see the Republican party start to understand this…

18-1 on April 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM

ATTKISSON: And I was certainly friendly with them as anybody, good information can come from any source. But when I persisted with Fast and Furious and some of the green energy stories I was doing, I clearly at some point became a target, that they — you know, I don’t know if someone paid them to do it or if they took it on their own. But they were very much –

STELTER: Do you think that’s possible that someone paid them?

ATTKISSON: Well, they get contributions from — yes, they get contributions from –

STELTER: But specifically to target you?

ATTKISSON: Perhaps, sure. I think that’s what some of these groups do, absolutely.

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched.

Why would this be far-fetched? I think you’re projecting your own professionalism and reasonableness to people who take stories critical of Obama very, very personally.

Once Atkisson was seen as a critic of Obama, it’s not hard at all to believe that persons or groups would be circling the wagons by targeting her as a reporter to attempt to discredit her. In fact, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if her stories were used to solicit donations specifically to stop her.

For the left, the propaganda war is Total War.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM

what really sucks is WE (as in every citizen) lose with people like her no longer being there. regardless of her own personal politics she was as hard on every administration, and that deserves a ton of respect.

dmacleo on April 21, 2014 at 11:00 AM

We have a third rate junior Senator whom no one seems to have any recollection of being in his class at Columbia; produces, after a long campaign to get him to produce, a questionable birth certificate; whose other past records are sealed and cannot be examined; who accomplished nothing legislatively in his ONE YEAR AS A JUNIOR SENATOR; who had legitimately questionable influences in his formative years; who peoples his administration with known Leftist radicals; and who somehow manages to be handed TWICE the keys to the most powerful position of political influence in the world – all with the assistance of a press who goes out of its way to defend him and his administration and what they are doing -

and to you it seems “a little far-fetched”!?

No wonder our side is losing.

Cleombrotus on April 21, 2014 at 9:26 AM

bingo

dmacleo on April 21, 2014 at 11:03 AM

The money clip from this interview is, “I was never stopped from doing stories that may have been negative to the Bush administration, however I was stopped when they would have been negative to the Obama administration”. (paraphrased)

Tater Salad on April 21, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched.

Far-fetched? You’re kidding, right? The NSA surveilled a Fox News reporter and the Justic Department under Holder contemplated going after him on an espionage/sedition charge. How’s that for far-fetched?

The ATF orchestrated a series of straw buys in gun shops along the US-Mexican border so that those straw-bought guns would turn up at drug cartel crime scenes in order to influence American firearms-related legislative and regulatory controls. Far-fetched enough for you?

Remember that YouTube filmmaker blamed for the 9-11 Benghazi attack? Kind of out here, don’t you think?

And so on. Where have you been?

troyriser_gopftw on April 21, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Media Matters’ mission: Covering Obama’s backside—one lie lick at a time.

Rovin on April 21, 2014 at 8:06 AM

FIFY, minor misspelling…

ZeusGoose on April 21, 2014 at 11:26 AM

Media Matters goes after any media outlet and any story that reflects poorly on the Obama administration.

Well, if the story is from a center or right point of view.

I don’t know but I doubt they’ve been critical of MSNBC for criticizing the Obama White House from the left. Ed Schultz has occasionally criticized this White House for being too compromising with the Republicans. I’ll guess that MM didn’t go after him for that critique.

SteveMG on April 21, 2014 at 11:37 AM

No wonder our side is losing.

Cleombrotus on April 21, 2014 at 9:26 AM

I stopped wondering a long time ago.

rrpjr on April 21, 2014 at 11:37 AM

It was nice to have at least 1 honest reporter at CBS. Now there are none.

MaiDee on April 21, 2014 at 11:44 AM

When the host said “…one of the most respected news organizations…” I thought he was referring to Attkisson. Doesn’t everybody know about RatherGate?????

At the height of her F+F reporting I sent her flowers and a card to her CBS office — got a nice Tweeted Thank you. Where do I send them now????

A brave and intelligent woman.

If she goes on Fox, libs will tune her out. Only chance is for her to take over a CNN prime time slot so libs might tune in and learn the truth.

fred5678 on April 21, 2014 at 11:57 AM

Just musings.

I have long held that the MSM is is infested with true believers. That is likely true, but not the whole story. Her deliberate attempts to inject “corporate interests” into the interview was interesting. It may be that the “news” outlets are under the proverbial gun by outside powers, namely the administration and large advertisers. The object is to preserve the current system of crony capitalism.

Nice network youse got here, it’d be shame…

FOWG1 on April 21, 2014 at 10:01 AM

And this

Of course ultimately this isn’t a matter of bias, and hasn’t been since 2004 or so. The media identifies its own purpose to support the governing class. Expecting them to act at journalists instead of propagandists is a mistake.

It would be nice to see the Republican party start to understand this…

18-1 on April 21, 2014 at 10:26 AM

Mean this

If the rich on the Right want to do something constructive, they should develop an effective, large electronic and print propaganda system to neutralize the Left. Anything less and the left wing US media will continue to ride roughshod over the truth.

rplat on April 21, 2014 at 10:24 AM

will never happen.

The MSM worker bees may support the current government for ideological reasons, but the owners are “ideological” because the current government supports them (or so they believe).

Crony-capitalists aka “the Rich” basically don’t care whether the Left or the Right runs the government, so long as their personally profitable rent-seeking regulations are enacted.
So far, Democrats and Republicans in office have both been amenable to the program of the monied interests who support their campaigns (ahem); the national parties differ only in a few “negligible” social positions which have no impact on the regulatory structure that enriches the “upper x percent” – which includes both Dem and Republican donors, because although some of the wealthy “specialize” for ideological reasons, most corporations contribute to both parties, for practical reasons.

This comment, on the Gregory thread, was perhaps more astute than its poster realized.

The overwhelming fear that if he actually asked people in power difficult questions that he’d be disinvited to the next beltway party. There is literally nothing else that motivates this man. The gag is, conservatives think the people he puts a cape on for is the federal government, when of course it’s capital.

libfreeordie on April 21, 2014 at 9:49 AM

The federal government is always run by “capital” — that’s who has the money.
Depending on the prevailing social climate, the rich & their management teams will take on the trappings of the Right or the Left, but they don’t really have an allegiance to the partisan passions of either side, as long as they can buy the regulations and laws that they want (which is easier if you convince the seller that you’re “on their side” in other things, which is itself easier if you actually do share part of the dominant ideology).

The Federal Government is without doubt controlled by the rent-seekers (“capital”), who will stick with the Left as long as that gets them a better deal, although they are also benefiting from the efforts of the national GOP to woo them away.
(Thus the spectacle of Republicans pretending to support causes that the rent-seekers are pretending to support because that wins favor with the Democrats, who are supporting the rent-seekers because the rent-seekers are pretending to support the causes favored by the Left which currently have popular support.)

A small-government, free-market political party will never make any headway against the GovernmentEstablishment (or BigMedia) because their interests are diametrically and fundamentally opposed.

AesopFan on April 21, 2014 at 12:05 PM

I’m a litle concerned that some conservatives might think she’s one of them and when she does a story they don’t agree with they’ll turn against her. All I expect of any journalist is fairness and professionalism.

crankyoldlady on April 21, 2014 at 12:07 PM

I think the interviewer did a good job here. Pretty even handed for the most part. As all interviewers do, he tried to lead her into answering a certain way a couple of times but she showed restraint and stuck to the subject at hand. And this from CNN! Could this be a trend?

LeftCoastRight on April 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched.

Why did the HA owners make someone so naive a Senior Editor?

earlgrey on April 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM

NBC, CBS, and ABC are working for the Marxists. I don’t think CNN has been compromised although there are elements. We’ll never win until we find a way to neutralize these outlets.

crankyoldlady on April 21, 2014 at 12:11 PM

This little article is on point, I think.

SPJ Ethics Panel Once Again Avoids Confronting Bias

By Christian Robey | April 17, 2014 | 17:11

In 1996, the Society of Professional Journalists removed a stipulation in its ethics code holding that “News reports should be free of opinion or bias.” Earlier this year, the SPJ’s Ethics Committee released its draft of a revised ethics code which, alas, does not restore the bright-line rule against opinion and bias in news stories that was removed in 1996.

The rule, was on the books for some 70 years before being scotched. What’s more, the 1973 version of the code, went on to insist that news reports should “represent all sides of an issue.” That revision of the code also contained language which emphasized the preeminence of truth and objectivity in the practice of journalism “Truth is our ultimate goal” with “Objectivity in reporting the news”another goal in service of that aim.

Noting that news coverage nowadays is often slanted, Congressman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) recently lamented on the floor of the US House of Representatives: “How can we expect journalists to cover events in a fair and objective way when their own code of ethics does not discourage biased reporting?”

Well, we can’t. The 18-year period following the SPJ striking their bright-line rule against bias has been marred by ever-increasing media bias, and, worse, outright liberal propaganda passed off as news.


The 1996 Code, still in use today, dances all around the subject of media bias without explicitly mentioning or condemning it….

Apologists for the current code will tell you that ‘no one is free of bias’ and that reporters should police their own biases. But how’s that working out for us the news-consuming public? …
Unless and until we return to the kind of openly partisan rag that characterized colonial-era journalism in America, reporters at supposedly objective mainstream media outlets should keep their opinions out of their stories and ensure that their biases do not skew the news in favor of their pet politicians and causes. Their professional association and ethicsmeisters should be elevating their collective character, not contributing to its dissolution.

Put the rule back on the books!

One might argue that the journalists’ association should get some credit for implicitly admitting that promoting that rule would be hypocritical, as the majority have no intention of adhering to it.

AesopFan on April 21, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Could Media Matters profit from targeting her, even directly?

Does it really go that far? It’s possible, I suppose, but it seems a little far-fetched.

Did she disagree?

I clearly at some point became a target, that they — you know, I don’t know if someone paid them to do it or if they took it on their own.

And, when asked further if it was possible MM was “paid” her answer was “perhaps” along with a reference to “contributions.” Perhaps? Possible? Where’s the big disagreement?

Besides, are we naive enough to presume it’s impossible? The point is that there is a link between Media Matters’ financial interests and their editorial activity. If we don’t believe that, we might need a quick reality check.

IndieDogg on April 21, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Fergoshsake. The heifer that’s fixin’ to take over Obamacare comes for a Soros-funded institute. Never doubt the influence of the Obama Administration and its Puppetmaster.

kingsjester on April 21, 2014 at 12:17 PM

“from”

kingsjester on April 21, 2014 at 12:18 PM

It’s funny, the legacy media gets lumped with conservatives because they are “corporatist” bowing to the almighty bottom line and yet their bottom line continues to suffer. There is nothing wrong with being biased if you admit to the bias but all they can do is belittle Fox. There are none so blind that those who will not see.

Cindy Munford on April 21, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Does it really go that far?

Well if you want to start a list of Soros outfits all singing the same tune, you would have the start of a great story there.

Then if you would look at Center for American Progress and chart the number of people who have cycled through media, politics and lobbying you would get a good idea of what Soros is doing. When you start listing the people hopscotching between Soros outfits, politics and lobbying and then start looking to who is related to whom in the MFM and which reporters feed from the Soros trough, then you would have an answer to your question.

The answer, in case you didn’t know it, is: YES.

For extra credit you can look at the backers of Agenda 21 and various Soros projects looking for ways to destroy suburbia, and then look for the glowing media accounts of such ‘research’ to back the Agenda 21 program. It isn’t just the MFM, but the MFM is the mouthpiece.

ajacksonian on April 21, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Imagine how the media would have covered Fast and Furious, Benghazi or the IRS scandal had a Republican administration been in power. The media would have been on them like they were “Bridgegate.”

bw222 on April 21, 2014 at 12:43 PM

It’s funny, the legacy media gets lumped with conservatives because they are “corporatist” bowing to the almighty bottom line and yet their bottom line continues to suffer.
Cindy Munford on April 21, 2014 at 12:33 PM

This is the “Chomsky fallacy.” I hear it all time from leftists. The media and culture isn’t liberal, it’s “corporatist,” all it cares about is the bottom line, etc.

For an explosion of this myth just look at Hollywood. They grind out expensive and clearly ideologically-driven stories which continue to underperform or even bomb, while counter-narrative and relatively low budget “message” movies are soaring. Two Christian-themed movies are currently crushing competition — their cost vs. earnings ratio is ridiculously favorable. Any “bottom-line” people in establishment Hollywood listening? Hardly. They’re just doubling down on their ideological agenda. That is, the “corporatists” are totally ignoring the bottom line in order to propagate a message. Likewise the MSM and newspapers. They’re losing money and ratings and ignoring the lessons of the Fox model of success. They don’t have to become Fox to include a conservative point of view. But they won’t.

rrpjr on April 21, 2014 at 12:45 PM

Even if it’s something as simple as a government waste story that doesn’t pinpoint anybody in particularly and it takes on both parties. It seems as though some of them were sensitive about any story that might appear as though it criticizes the government.

Govt waste — for years I’ve noticed the network nightly news rarely if ever talks about govt inefficiencies or such as welfare fraud, medicare/medicaid fraud. And even ABCnews, which I’d thought was more balanced than CBS or NBC, often causes me to gasp at their liberal slant. Whoever writes the text that’s spoken on the air, I find at least one outrageous characterization in every evening broadcast.

LashRambo on April 21, 2014 at 8:25 AM

Too easy. The Democratic party is the party of big government, the conservatives are for smaller government. Any story that will lower voters’ confidence in big government by uncovering corruption and waste and incompetence is therefore anti-Democratic party and pro-conservative.

slickwillie2001 on April 21, 2014 at 12:47 PM

How does the Left keep ignoring that Ms. Atkinson was not fired for doing shoddy work. She was shunned for doing excellent work. Or in language they can understand, stuff they don’t want to hear.

Cindy Munford on April 21, 2014 at 12:47 PM

Seriously, for some reason Shep has always given me the creeps. Even before his anti-Bush rant at the Morial Convention Center after Katrina.

Happy Nomad on April 21, 2014 at 8:15 AM

Murdoch and Ailes know most viewers can’t stand Shep Smith. Keeping him on board is their way of giving conservatives “the finger.”

bw222 on April 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

I think there is legitimate fear in the MSM about a populist (potentially violent) uprising in the near-ish future. I believe that’s part of this ‘don’t ever question the government on the news’ policy most of them have taken. Just change that to ‘don’t give them any more ideas’ and you may see where I’m coming from.

Government is the problem, not the solution, and more and more Americans are waking up to this fact. Sure, they can go after GWB all day long on Iraq/Afghanistan, but that’s foreign policy, people tend to care less about that than they do domestic — Other than 2007/8, the economy was pretty damn fine under GWB, thus, few grumbles from people about ‘government.’ Now you have a very different landscape, leftist utopian policies being pushed as hard as they can be, shoved down the throats of a clearly (via polling) unwilling electorate. They have to take their shilling into high-gear now to protect any gains they may have think they’ve made here and try to keep the talk of ‘revolution’ segregated to the ‘conspiracy-theory lunatics’ rather than more and more average Americans (which is what you’re starting to see). Just look at Scalia’s comment the other day about ‘revolting’ against taxes… this is a SUPREME COURT JUSTICE talking (I assume) armed revolution against leftist policies.

The media is terrified right now, because they know as well as we do that this whole sham of an economy can collapse at any moment, and all hell will break loose.

nullrouted on April 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

rrpjr on April 21, 2014 at 12:45 PM

What I don’t understand is why they bother to deny bias. As you note, Fox does well while admitting that their commentators are Right leaners. Maybe it is because they have examples from the Left that they continue to flourish but I just don’t understand why the Left lies about being on the Left.

Cindy Munford on April 21, 2014 at 12:50 PM

Keeping him on board is their way of giving conservatives “the finger.”

bw222 on April 21, 2014 at 12:48 PM

Why? I take no offense of Mr. Shepard being there, I just don’t watch him. And not because of any perceived bias, he’s just a bit too much of a drama queen for my taste. And that queen remark is not a smack at his sexuality which I neither know or care about.

Cindy Munford on April 21, 2014 at 12:51 PM

All that you need to know about Media Matters for America:
http://www.discoverthenetworks.org/groupProfile.asp?grpid=7150

onlineanalyst on April 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM

looks like a way for the left to attack her credibility by dissing her questioning of the safety of vaccines. she reads the literature and brings it forward but I don’t know that she’s JM’s soul sister on this. JM recently backed off her anti-vaccine rhetoric when she began realizing that the unvaccinated are a major health risk to themselves and others.

gracie on April 21, 2014 at 9:11 AM

I believe the benefits of most common vaccines far outweigh the risks/dangers on a wide scale but that doesn’t mean I believe it should be treated as “settled science” and no future debate should be tolerated. When vaccines are reformulated and new vaccines come on the market, they should go under the microscope to ensure the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

Wendya on April 21, 2014 at 12:57 PM

“Paging Lucy Ramirez…..Lucy Ramirez please meet your party behind the CBS camera….Lucy Ramirez…please meet your party behind the CBS camera”

BobMbx on April 21, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Journalism died in 2006 and the public is just smelling the rotten corpse.

faraway on April 21, 2014 at 12:58 PM

Network news is nothing more than a political arm of the Dem party. History will expose this charlatans for what they are: Anti-American leftist political hacks masquerading as journalists.

Whitey Ford on April 21, 2014 at 1:10 PM

I just don’t understand why the Left lies about being on the Left.

Cindy Munford on April 21, 2014 at 12:50 PM

I guess that’s a tautology, i.e., that’s why they’re leftists — they lie. They are inherently incapable of honesty; or, more fully, they need the illusions of moral superiority, the conceit of invincible self-righteousness. To admit they’d lied and were biased would be to admit that they were propagandizing rather than simply telling the truth, reflecting reality, the one exclusive and truthful reality we’re too stupid and low to grasp. It would shatter their illusion and, in their minds, open them up to the terror of the “house of cards” phenomenon — what else could they be wrong about? That is too psychologically traumatizing for them to contemplate.

rrpjr on April 21, 2014 at 1:12 PM

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