Stonewalled

Stonewalled

Sharyl Attkisson is the kind of reporter that you would think an adversarial press would love to have and spotlight. She was, in the words of two of her former bosses, CBS Evening News executive producers Jim Murphy and Rick Kaplan, a “pit bull.” But her reporting was sometimes aired based on the politics of the people involved, and she witnessed many biased decisions (and knows others who have experienced it as well). She has written a new book to expose what she saw behind the media curtain, and I discuss some of her allegations.

I end with some personal reflections on a funeral I officiated at recently. Perhaps many of you can relate.

Mentioned links:

Ex-CBS reporter’s book reveals how liberal media protects Obama

Sharyl Attkisson to CNN: Facts Show I Don’t Only Target Democrats

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Show transcript

Sharyl Attkisson is the kind of reporter that you would think an adversarial press would love to have and spotlight. When she asked for details about reinforcements sent to the Benghazi compound during the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack, White House national security spokesman Tommy Vietor replied, “I give up, Sharyl . . . I’ll work with more reasonable folks that follow up, I guess.”

And when Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz didn’t like being pressed for answers about the Fast and Furious scandal, he screamed at her. “The Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, The New York Times is reasonable. You’re the only one who’s not reasonable!”

Perhaps the definition of “reasonable” these guys are using has something to do with taking what they say at face value and not digging deeper. Sharyl Attkisson was, in the words of two of her former bosses, CBS Evening News executive producers Jim Murphy and Rick Kaplan, a “pit bull.” Isn’t that what we would want?

But she quit CBS because of the influence just a few New York elites had on how things were covered, and even what was covered. She doesn’t fault the reporters, though; she says that it’s the New York executives that direct the bias. One of her bosses had a rule that conservative analysts must always be labeled conservatives, but liberal analysts were simply “analysts.” She explained that it went even further than that. “And if a conservative analyst’s opinion really rubbed the supervisor the wrong way, she might rewrite the script to label him a ‘right-wing’ analyst.”

Now, in her new book “Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington” she unloads on her colleagues in the major media for their cowardice and cheerleading for the Obama administration. She also exposes corruption and outright lying in Washington politics. But she will point out that she’s received 2 Emmy awards for exposés targeting Republicans, so she’s no right-wing shill. Her reporting has hit both sides; it’s just that what actually airs isn’t quite as balanced.

Just like Bernard Goldberg before her, Sharyl is exposing exactly what conservatives have been saying for a very long time. There is an institutional bias in the media. Not everyone is a part of it, not everyone has an influence in it, but overall, what comes out of the US major media is generally left-leaning and amenable to the Democrats. Go ahead and argue the extent of it or how much it really affects the news consumers, but denying that it exists is denying reality.

I officiated at a funeral two Sundays ago. It’s the first time I performed one, so it was a new experience for me. What made it more difficult was the fact that this was the funeral for a friend of the Payton family.

We had known her for the last 15 years, but we felt as though we had known her her whole life. She was very affectionate to our kids, especially our oldest, but as each of them left for college you could tell she was more and more lonely for them.

She had aged remarkably well during those last years. Still a bit spry, but you could see that she was slowing down. And when the end came, it came quickly.

At the funeral, I opened it up for memories that we had about her; the earliest, the funniest, those sorts of things. My youngest had to really think about his earliest memory, because he just turned 14 this year. He’s never known a time when she wasn’t around.

And so we said goodbye, and buried her, and now we learn what life is like without her. It’s quieter, but not the kind of quiet you enjoy as much. No more of her sitting with us. No more feeding her. No more cleaning her litter box.

Oh yes, this friend of the family was more a part of the family. Those last 15 years of her life? That was her whole life. And we buried her in a spot out by the pond in our backyard, where she would prowl around when the kids played back there.

And so we said goodbye to Snowflake recently, our beautiful white cat. C. S. Lewis one said that he believed that a tamed animal was the way God intended that humans interact with animals. In the Garden of Eden, there was no fear of attack from wild animals, so the taming of them now approximates this ideal; the opportunity to both give love to an animal, and receive love from it, in whatever way it is able.

Thank you, Snowflake, for that little bit of paradise.

Filed under: InterestingMedia