Sharyl Attkisson, CBS News, resigns over network’s liberal media bias

Sharyl Attkisson, CBS News, resigns over network’s liberal media bias

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Sharyl Attkisson publicity still - CBS
Sharyl Attkisson publicity still - CBS

OCALA, Fla., March 10, 2014 — What can be said about media bias which already hasn’t been? Beyond discussion of the blogosphere, talk radio, or even cable news, many people happily remember the days when alphabet networks and urban newspapers dominated our country’s media structure.

Sharyl Attkisson, a CBS News investigative correspondant, has announced that she will be leaving CBS prior to the end of her contract.

Dylan Byers on Media at writes about Attkisson’s departure:

“Attkisson, who has been with CBS News for two decades, had grown frustrated with what she saw as the network’s liberal bias, an outsize influence by the network’s corporate partners and a lack of dedication to investigative reporting, several sources said. She increasingly felt that her work was no longer supported and that it was a struggle to get her reporting on air.

At the same time, Attkisson’s reporting on the Obama administration, which some staffers characterized as agenda-driven, had led network executives to doubt the impartiality of her reporting. She 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.”

Normon Solomon - Brent Bozell
Normon Solomon – Brent Bozell

Norman Solomon is a longtime activist for leftish causes, ranging from the anti-nuclear energy movement to opposing various military conflicts. Solomon is most well known, however, for his journalistic work, which revolves around exposing and preventing biased reportage.

In 1997, he founded the Institute for Public Accuracy and had a nationally syndicated column from the early ’90s until 2009.

Solomon tells Communities Digital News that he “co-authored ‘Unreliable Sources: A Guide to Detecting Bias in News Media,’ a book published in 1990 that assessed those days –  which were anything but idyllic.”

Craig Aaron is the president and CEO of Free Press, perhaps America’s foremost organization devoted to media accountability and journalistic integrity. Unlike other groups, Free Press does not take sides in partisan rancor or advocate a non-media-related political agenda. Instead, it seeks to foster civic participation in the press; a lofty goal which few others have dared reaching.

“We need to take off the rose-colored glasses,” Aaron explained in 2013. “But there were things from that era that we do still need, like reporters and bureaus around the world. And we have the further problem — especially in local news — that the old media still dominates. The daily newspaper is the most visited news site for news in every market — even though it’s a shell of what it used to be. And in most places, there’s not a real competitor that gets any measurable traffic. I’m all for the greater accountability that the Internet offers.

“I’m all for weakening the control of the traditional gatekeepers — though that really hasn’t happened yet. They are weaker but still in control. And if we gain a lot more channels and hours of programming but are doing less actual news gathering, then the public really isn’t being served.” 

While bias is a problem which obviously persists, it is far from the most surprising aspect of the American media. What might be called this is anybody’s guess.

“As silly as it sounds, it is surprising just how liberal they really are, so aggressively liberal, in fact, that they’d rather go down in flames than give any kind of voice to conservatives,” Brent Bozell said.

Bozell serves as president of the Media Research Center, one of our country’s most prominent press watchdog groups. Also a syndicated columnist and television pundit, he has firmly established himself among critics of perceived leftist media bias. Bozell continued: “They really do hate everything our movement stands for. We will have the last laugh. They will go down in flames.”

Solomon says that “(o)ne of the most initially surprising things has been the near-absence or total absence of substantive coverage of many hugely important realities in the United States that severely affect millions of people’s lives.

As to Attkisson’s departure, CBS said in a statement “CBS News veteran Sharyl Attkisson is leaving the news division to pursue other endeavors. We appreciate her many contributions and we wish her well.”

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