Sharyl Attkisson, the investigative reporter who resigned from CBS News and said the network clamped down on stories critical of the Obama administration, on Sunday said Media Matters targeted her and may have been paid to do so.
Sharyl Attkisson (Image source: CNN via Medaite)
Attkisson added in her interview with CNN's "Reliable Sources" host Brian Stelter that while she never was discouraged from hard-hitting reports on the George W. Bush administration, when it came to her critical coverage of the Obama White House, CBS regularly balked.
As for Media Matters, a left-leaning outfit that critiques news coverage, Attkisson said that "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."
When asked if someone paid Media Matters to come after her, Attkisson replied, "Well, they get contributions."
As for the differences between how CBS News brass treated and covered the Bush compared to the Obama administration, Attkisson noted that she "didn't sense any resistance to doing stories that were perceived to be negative to the Bush administration by anybody ever." But as for the Obama White House, she said "I have done stories that were not received well because people thought they would reflect poorly upon this administration."
Attkisson went further, noting a "fairly well-discussed" topic 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."
"So you're saying they are liberal or Democrats?" Stelter asked.
"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."
[sharequote align="center"]"They never mind the stories that seem to...go against the grain of the Republican Party."[/sharequote]
Attkisson also gave parting advice to readers and viewers of the news in search of the truth.
"There are very sophisticated efforts to manipulate the images and the information that you see every day, in ways that you won’t recognize," she said. "And I think we can all be a little more savvy about that."
CBS News declined to comment, CNN reported.
Here's the first part of the eye-opening interview:
And part 2: