Cleansing Dissent: Sharyl Attkisson’s Time on CBS Evening News Fell by Two Thirds After 2009

SHARYL-ATTKISSON‘s John Sexton reports:  Earlier today Sharyl Attkisson announced on Twitter that she was leaving CBS News. Early reports suggest the split was “amicable” though Attkisson is said to have wanted to leave because she had grown frustrated with the network’s “liberal bias.” Specifically, she felt it was a struggle to get her work on the CBS Evening News, the network’s flagship news program.

[Talk about media bias, Politico‘s idea of a headline, no joke: The right loses its hero at CBS. Hero? What Attkisson did is uncontroversial: apply equally tough standards to the Obama Administration and the Bush Administration. This is news? Isn’t that what all reporters are supposed to do?]


The brother of a top Obama administration official is the president of CBS News

Sharyl Attkisson is currently at work on a book — tentatively titled “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington” — that addresses the challenges of reporting critically on the administration. 

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post reached out to Andrew Tyndall who was able to put some numbers to the frustration that apparently drove Attkisson out the door:

Attkisson was the 18th most used reporter in major network nightly news, with 160 minutes of exposure. In 2008, she held steady at 18th, with 145 minutes, and in 2009, she was 19th, with 152 minutes.

She hasn’t landed in the top 20 since.

In a quick chat with the Erik Wemple Blog, Tyndall said that Attkisson tallied a mere 54 minutes on “The CBS Evening News” in 2013, a third of her previous totals. That was good for a ranking of 78th among network news reporters. “She was obviously being sidelined,” says Tyndall.

So Attkisson did not imagine that her status at CBS had changed, it really did. And given that it changed after 2009 when she started to focus on the Obama administration it stretches credulity to suggest that this was not a primary reason for the sudden change.

The Obama administration has become known for being extremely tough on reporters. There was a failed “war on Fox News” in 2009 which many journalists on the right and left said was a mistake. More recently, the FBI argued in a search warrant request that Fox News’ James Rosen was a “co-conspirator” in an leak, comparing him to an “intelligence officer” for a foreign nation. There was also an incident involving phone records for AP reporters….Read the rest >>>

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