The biggest Benghazi-related story that took place outside of the House Oversight Committee's hearing room today is this item in Politico, regarding CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson. She's the reporter who famously drew White House officials' profane ire over her unapologetic pursuit of the Fast & Furious scandal story; now she's apparently facing searing criticism from another source: Her own bosses. Why? Because she's been covering the Benghazi story too aggressively. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you media bias:
"Attkisson, who holds a third-degree black belt in taekwondo, takes a fighting stance when she feels she’s being stonewalled. Which is exactly what she thinks the White House has done to her on Benghazi," Farhi writes. But from where Attkisson is sitting, there are actually two Goliaths, one of which is almost entirely absent from the Post profile. The second Goliath is CBS News, which has grown increasingly frustrated with Attkisson's Benghazi campaign. CBS News executives see Attkisson wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue, network sources have told POLITICO. Attkisson can't get some of her stories on the air, and is thus left feeling marginalized and underutilized. That, in part, is why Attkisson is in talks to leave CBS ahead of contract, as POLITICO reported in April. Farhi mentions "internal conflicts" in the final paragraph, though he seems to dismiss them. The "internal conflicts" are indeed real -- Attkisson is still eyeing an exit, according to sources -- and provide important context for today's piece. Today, CBS News is celebrating Attkisson's commitment to the Benghazi story. It's good press. But that support is an aberration.
"Dangerously close to advocacy"? That's how CBS News apparently views the work of a reporter who is doggedly seeking truth about an issue of enormous importance that many of her colleagues have scrupulously ignored. Remarkable. And as Ed Morrissey noticed, Attkisson's Twitter feed went curiously silent very early on during today's hearings. What happened? Allahpundit thinks he knows what's going on here, and I agree with him:
[The media establishment and liberals] can’t stop conservative media from existing, but they can ghettoize it as illegitimate and “partisan” in a way that their own partisan garbage isn’t....Skepticism about Benghazi is fine for the wingnuts at Fox, but bringing such unhelpful nonsense into an “impartial,” i.e. pro-Obama, outlet like CBS risks lending credence to the GOP’s accusations. The proper line to take on Benghazi is to dismiss the new hearings with a sneer, a la Joe Klein, or, in the case of “impartial” news coverage, to dismiss them more lightly by referencing Hillary’s long-ago whining about a “vast right-wing conspiracy” to discredit the Clintons. “Going where the story leads” is unhelpful to liberalism in this case, ergo it’s advocacy by definition.
Who's tweeting about Benghazi? Rich, middle-aged men and Chick-fil-A lovers wapo.st/18YFgKP— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) May 8, 2013
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography