Sharyl Attkisson: Obama Admin Puts More Pressure on Journalists Than Past Admins
Former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson was on “Media Buzz” this week to discuss leaving the network after 20 years.
Attkisson, who is known for her investigative reporting, resigned from CBS News last month. She told Howard Kurtz that there seems to be much less interest in original and in-depth reporting in the media lately.
Many of Attkisson’s stories weren’t making it to air. She said the network either wouldn’t run a piece, or the story would “[die] the death of a thousand cuts,” being revised and shortened to become a shadow of its former self.
Attkisson said she was talked out of leaving last year by CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager.
“There’s a difference between some managers wanting and believing in a mission and it actually translating to the broadcasts which are, by and large, very independent in some ways, and the translation just never got made, and I think it’s more of a trend than something that just involves me at CBS,” she said.
Attkisson said the press seems shy about challenging the current administration, which is an issue she didn’t encounter when she challenged the Bush administration.
“There is pressure coming to bear on journalists for just doing their job in ways that have never come to bear before,” she said. “Now, there’s always been tensions, there have always been calls from the White House under any administration, I assume, when they don’t like a particular story. But it’s particularly aggressive under the Obama administration.”
Attkisson said that she thinks the administration doesn’t think the public is entitled to a lot of information.
It wasn’t hard for the veteran correspondent to leave CBS after 20 years, she said, because there was nothing meaningful left for her to do there. Attkisson said she had repeatedly let sources down by getting them to go out on a limb for an important story, then having to go back and tell them that nobody wanted to run the piece.
Attkisson is currently working on a book, entitled, “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington.”
Watch part 1 of her interview with Howard Kurtz above. Watch part 2 below.