WHO IS SHARYL ATTKISSON: She may want your millions, mister!

TUESDAY, MAY 28, 2013

Part 2—In search of employment from Fox: At this point, is CBS TV star Sharyl Attkisson pursuing employment at Fox?

We’d give at least even money. The story began on April 12, when Politico’s Dylan Byers reported that Attkisson was “in talks to leave CBS News ahead of contract.”

Sources were citing “disputes between Attkisson and network executives, including CBS Evening News executive producer Patricia Shevlin,” Byers reported. He said specifics about the dispute were not available.

On May 8, the Washington Post offered a full-length profile of Attkisson, describing her as a “persistent voice of news-media skepticism about the government's story” concerning the Benghazi attack. “Conservatives see a crusader and truth-teller,” Paul Farhi wrote, citing several prominent examples.

In a review of the Post profile, Byers fleshed out his earlier report about Attkisson’s contract negotiations. CBS News “has grown increasingly frustrated with Attkisson's Benghazi campaign,” the Politico writer now said.

One day later, Media Matter finally popped the question. Eric Hananoki wrote a full report under this headline: “Is Fox News Trying To Recruit CBS Reporter Sharyl Attkisson?”

Hananoki cited an array of major figures at Fox, including Brit Hume and Sean Hannity, who had recently praised Attkisson’s work.

Finally, on May 24, Byers brought forth his magnum opus, a full-length report about Attkisson’s heightened public profile. In this passage, Byers went where the rubber meets the road:
BYERS (5/24/13): [S]uspicions of partisanship have made Attkisson a polarizing figure within her own organization.

CBS News President David Rhodes is said to value her diligence, but there are others, most notably Pat Shevlin, the executive producer of CBS Evening News, who are wary of her motives and have even dismissed her, in private, as a partisan carrying water for Republicans.

Alternatively, some sources suggested that Shevlin’s own political bias, which they described as liberal, was to blame.

Either way, the tension has caused Attkisson to feel that she’s been marginalized at the network, sources said.
Is Attkisson “a partisan carrying water for Republicans?” As a general matter, we have no idea. That said, much of her reporting on Benghazi has been egregious, awful, horrendous. And her logical lapses and factual flights have followed the Republican party/Fox News line to a T.

To the credit of CBS News, it seems that some major figures have been troubled by the gong show Attkisson has been conducting. In part for that reason, one can’t help wondering if the highly privileged millionaire TV performer may not be auditioning for a position at Fox.

Consider an astonishing bit of recent behavior by Attkisson. On May 21, Byers reported a remarkable claim by the highly undisciplined CBS News TV star:
BYERS (5/21/13): Sharyl Attkisson, the Emmy-award winning CBS News investigative reporter, says that her personal and work computers have been compromised and are under investigation.

"I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I'm not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I've been patient and methodical about this matter," Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. "I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public."

In an earlier interview with WPHT Philadelphia, Attkisson said that though she did not know the full details of the intrustion, "there could be some relationship between these things and what's happened to James [Rosen]," the Fox News reporter who became the subject of a Justice Dept. investigation after reporting on CIA intelligence about North Korea in 2009.
“I'm not prepared to make an allegation,” Attkisson said, having already done so.

Attkisson’s conduct in this matter has been little short of astonishing. In that Philadelphia radio session, she spoke with Chris Stigall, a conservative talker. She said her home and office computers had been compromised since “at least February of 2011 and I think probably a significant period of time before that.”

At the Huffington Post, you can hear Attkisson go on for a full four minutes with Stigall, speculating about the possibility that her phones have been tapped and her e-mails have been read. “I’m trying to be methodical and careful about what I say,” Attkisson said, as she went a million miles out of her way to avoid being careful.

Have Attkisson’s computers been compromised by the federal government? Everything is possible! That said, it’s hard to know why it would take more than two years for a major news org like CBS News to analyze or resolve such a problem.

That said, Attkisson engaged in an astonishing level of speculation when she spoke with Stigall. Needless to say, the suggestion that Obama has been tapping her phones has only made her more of a hero in the pseudo-conservative world.

To watch her interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network, just click here. The interview aired last Thursday.

Have Attkisson’s computers been compromised? We have no idea—but her interview on that Philadelphia radio program was little short of astounding. No news network worth its salt would want to employ a person who engaged in such lazy speculation about such a serious matter on such an extended basis. But then, lazy speculation has characterized Attkisson’s work on the Benghazi matter throughout.

In yesterday's post, we gave you a taste of the scam Attkisson staged in a recent appearance on C-Span. As the week proceeds, we will look at other things she said that day, and we’ll review some of her formal reporting on Benghazi.

It may by that Attkisson is simply incompetent. It may be that she is some sort of Republican hack.

It may be that she is seeking a job at Fox.

But Attkisson’s work on Benghazi has often been horrendous. This raises an obvious question:

How can it be that a major network figure can perform such horrible work without a word of complaint from the stars who pretend to support your interests on The One True Liberal Channel?

Attkisson has hardly been alone, but her work on Benghazi has been horrendous. Question: Where have Rachel and Lawrence been as Benghazi has become a gong-show in the past eight months? Where was the dogged Chris Hayes?

Attkisson has conducted a long-running gong-show concerning Benghazi, as is clear in that C-Span appearance. How do we explain a culture where such untrammeled nonsense goes unremarked by people who are being paid millions of dollars to advance the “liberal” side?

Tomorrow: Attkisson bungles Benghazi

Some do want your millions, mister: They say Jim Garland wrote the song, "I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister." He was a coal-miner from eastern Kentucky.

We became familiar with the song thanks to the album, Newport Broadside: Topical Songs at the Newport Folk Festival 1963.

To hear Garland sing it at Newport that year, click here, then click again.

Strongly recommended!

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