Former CBS News reporter and Dana Loesch award-sharer Sharyl Attkisson has been making the rounds of conservative media to push her nebulous claims of bias at CBS that prompted her exit, and to promote her upcoming book Stonewalled. If you’re not read in on Attkisson, Media Matters has a thick dossier on her, but if you don’t trust them for some reason, then just know that she’s also an avid anti-vaccine quack who excuses the murder of autistic children, and who should have been fired by CBS News for lying about Benghazi “emails” that weren’t emails.
Don’t take my word for it, even her then-CBS News colleague Major Garrett reported on the significance of the “emails,” and the failure of reporters to disclose that the source of those “emails” were Republicans on the Hill. Attkisson had a habit of swallowing any lies the Republicans spoon-fed her. Any one of these offenses should have gotten her fired (as would her fact-free speculation thatMedia Matters might have been paid off to “target” her, if she still had a job to be fired from).
On Tuesday morning, Attkisson hit an unlikely roadblock on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, as co-host Mika Brzezinski sweetly laid waste to Attkisson’s liberal media persecution complex. It’s no slam on Mika Brzezinski to say that she’s not exactly known for her cutting interrogation style, but with very little effort, she made Attkisson’s claims look rather silly. First, she cut right to the chase and asked Attkisson “What didn’t make air that should have? What was blocked?”
Keeping in mind that the name of her book is Stonewalled, here’s how Attkisson responded:
As Eric Boehlert pointed out, if CBS News was blocking all of these important news stories, how can Attkisson, in good conscience, now keep them to herself? Not only tat, she tells Brzezinski “I’ll probably write a lot in the book when I can think it out and word it carefully,” which means she hasn’t even written down which super-important stories got quashed. Is there a liberal media bias in Sharyl Attkisson’s typewriter?
Again, she’s no F. Lee Bailey, but Brzezinski stays on Attkisson to give specifics, asking her “If you’re not saying, at this point, what stories were blocked, could you say what shows or who blocked them?”
The Stonewalled author would only single out The CBS Evening News, but Mika circled back to ask her, point blank, if she had a problem with CBS News Chairman Jeff Fager or CBS News VP Chris Licht, and Attkisson deflect to a nebulous “collective” in New York. Mika threw in a pitch-perfect bit of passive-aggression, telling Attkisson “That’s why I’m confused. I can’t wait to read your book.”
Along the way, Brzezinski also provided a plausible alternate theory of Attkisson’s slide into frustrating obscurity, in the form of Brzezinski’s own trajectory at CBS. “They were going to fire me,” she said, “so they felt that what’s the point of putting her on the air. She is someone we want to ease out. And so I went from 100 miles an hour to zero in the course of a week.”
A bit later in the segment, again describing her own exit from CBS, Mika (intentionally or not) put forth the Occam’s Razor explanation for why Attkisson saw her screen time diminish:
“Or I just stank. I was horrible on television. It’s one of those two.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
As Media Matters has also pointed out, CBS News certainly didn’t shy away from Benghazi. At the same time that Attkisson claims her screen time was being cut, Lara Logan was on the rise pushing Benghazi, which would seem to indicate that something else was at play here. To her broader point, television news was dominated, for months, by false stories about the Obama administration’s signature legislative accomplishment, and markedly muted coverage of the more recent good news. Sharyl Attkisson was just a shitty reporter.