Sharyl Attkisson, the award-winning investigative reporter who recently left CBS News alleging corporate and political pressure, said Friday there’s a level of coordination between the White House and reporters, but largely in the context of a cozy relationship between politicians and the press.
During an interview on Philadelphia radio station WPHT, host Chris Stegal asked Attkisson about Arizona TV reporter Catherine Anaya’s claim that White House press secretary Jay Carney told her that he gets reporters’ questions before his press briefings and that reporters know the answers before Carney verbally answers them in front of cameras. Anaya later walked back her allegation, while Carney denied it.
“There’s that kind of coordination sometimes,” Attkisson said on the radio show. “I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s sometimes more coordination. I don’t think it’s everybody on every briefing, every day. I’m pretty sure it’s not. But I think people would be surprised at the level of cooperation reporters have in general with politicians.”
Reporters covering the White House and other beats frequently call or email about inquiries on various topics to press representatives.
“I wouldn’t surprised if sometimes there is that level of cooperation with some questions,” Attkisson said on WPHT. “If I need something answered from the White House and they won’t tell me, I’ll call our White House correspondent. They’re friendlier with the White House correspondents in general. So the White House correspondent may ask Jay Carney or one of his folks about an issue and they will be told ‘ask that at the briefing and we’ll answer it.’ They want to answer it in front of everybody. They do know it’s coming and they’ll call on you.”
During her time at CBS, Attkisson broke significant aspects of the Operation Fast and Furious scandal and about the Benghazi terror attacks. She is keeping up her investigative reporting on her website.
(H/T: CBS Philadelphia)