Coincidentally, Alisyn Camerota announced today that she’s leaving Fox News after 16 years, leaving a vacancy in the 1 p.m. hour. (Seriously, though, I think that’s a coincidence.)
Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsized influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt like her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her packages on television.
At the same time, Attkisson’s own reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She iscurrently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — which addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the Obama administration…
But Attkisson had become a polarizing figure at the network, sources there said. While some championed her relentless dedication to investigations — ranging from defective Firestone Tires to the Fast and Furious gunwalking scandal — others saw evidence of a political agenda, particularly against President Obama. (The bulk of Attkisson’s work since 2009 has focused on the failures or perceived failures of the Obama administration, including the administration’s failed green energy investments and the attack in Benghazi, though she has reported on several Republican failures as well.)
Fast & Furious, Benghazi, Solyndra, the ObamaCare rollout — she’s spent the last five years digging into all of them. In a different world, she would have been promoted to “60 Minutes”; as it is, per Politico, she spent months negotiating an early end to her contract with CBS. The bit above about her being frustrated with liberal bias rings true, too. She’s been complaining about that, albeit in more oblique terms, for a long time now.
With the possible exception of Tapper, she’s the most respected major-network reporter working today among conservatives. It’s a fait accompli that her book will make a splash on the right. What then? Fox is the obvious choice, but if CNN decides to double down on hard news, maybe they’ll go after her. They’re planning to fill Piers Morgan’s 9 p.m. time slot at the end of the month with a rotating group of interim hosts, Tapper included. If a newsier hour is well received, maybe they’ll bring in more reporters like Attkisson — although Anderson Cooper’s show is already sorta hard news and he hasn’t ousted O’Reilly at 8. Maybe it’s time to be truly bold: “Sensible Reasonableness” at 9 p.m. with your co-hosts David Frum and Michael Smerconish. Take that, Megyn and Rachel.
By the way, did we ever find out who was behind that suspicious activity with her home computers? Attkisson had a suspicion about it last summer, but unless I missed something, that’s the last we heard.