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Attkisson: White House Successfully Intimidates the Press

Veteran, award-winning former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson said Sunday that news organizations are being intimidated by the White House into not reporting investigative stories that reflect negatively on President Obama.

From an interview she did with Howard Kurtz that ran Sunday on Fox News:

I think any journalist who has been covering Washington for a few years would agree, and they have agreed in letters written to the White House and a recognition given to the White House over the unprecedented secrecy and lack of FOIA responses and so on, that there are — there is pressure coming to bear on journalists for just doing their job in ways that have never come to bear before.

There have always been tensions, there have always been calls from the White House under any administration, I assume, when they don’t like a particular story. But it is particularly aggressive under the Obama administration, and I think it’s a campaign that’s very well organized and designed to have a sort of a chilling effect.

And to some degree, it has been somewhat successful in getting broadcast producers who don’t really want to deal with the headache of it, why put on these controversial stories that we are going to have to fight people on when we can fill the broadcast with other perfectly decent stories that don’t ruffle the same feathers.

They worked through me and they often went over my head to the bosses. I didn’t always know what they did so. But they would sometimes refer to it later, or I would be coped on an e-mail, or bosses would copy me on e-mails.

And they would consistently tell me, even really the last year or so, if I would write an article online, which would be the fallback position when something couldn’t get on television, but it was still a great story that could be circulated, I would publish it online, they would even call about those or they would call about a headline they didn’t like about the online article.

And these articles were perfectly defensible, legal, accurate, factual, legitimate. But I feel like we didn’t defend them in some cases as strongly as we should have. When they call and bear that kind of pressure, I think it borders on inappropriate if it is part of a campaign to sort of stop, and influence and manipulate the reporting.

That is, the bullying of the press by this White House had been a success.

As I’ve written, it’s not just the liberal bias of reporters that has caused the soft coverage of this White House. It is an orchestrated campaign of bullying reporters for writing perfectly legitimate stories the White House doesn’t like. The idea is to either knock down the current piece or get inside the heads of reporters – and their editors or producers – and make them think twice before they write another such story.

White House officials try to portray this as the usual loud argumentation that goes on in Washington. But this not the case.

The bullying by this administration is done with such regularity and such ugly ferocity by the Obama people that normal human beings – even ones who can take a lot of abuse – can’t help but think, even subliminally, about whether they want to deal with getting cursed at, yelled at, and threatened if they write a negative story about Obama.

I believe this is a well organized strategy, and that – given the similarity of some of the attacks I’ve encountered – the Obama people are even trained how to do it.

Ultimately, this is suppression of free speech and an attempt to undermine a free press. It’s consistent with an administration that likes to rule without having to bother with Congress and that villainizes its opponents as racists, women haters, or whatever else they can think of.

And, as Attkisson is pointing out here, it’s also effective.

Here’s some video from her conversation with Kurtz:


H/T to Newsmax.

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25 Responses to Attkisson: White House Successfully Intimidates the Press

  1. Sharyl’s my hero, we need to watch her back now. Even Fox News seemed to back down since they (Obama thugs) targeted James Rosen.

    I’m also hearing whispers of this major ComCastTimesWarner (may not have the cable titans right, but you catch my drift) merger will mean the death of conservative news and shows, like Fox.

    Scary times.

  2. By process of elimination, I watched CBS Morning with Charlie Rose. Now that I know how awfully the network treated Attkisson, I am not going to watch that channel again. Not one of the mainstream networks made a mention of her interview as news. It IS news, but the kind of news that the networks don’t want us to know a thing about. Same with the Bundy Ranch Harry Reid Nevada land grab. CBS gave it thirty seconds this morning, one sentence, a matter of fact. No wonder voters say they don’t know anything or are perturbed by the R;s demanding answers. It’s because they don’t know what’s really going on.

    Attkisson is a hero and I hope wherever she lands, she continues to tell stories like it is.

  3. Question;
    If we did not have the internet to search for news. Do you think the newscasters would still be getting away with not covering all that should be?

  4. “(Obama) White House Sucessfully Intimidates the press”…

    WOW!!! We Readers of whitehousedossier have kinda known that for years…!
    That is why the Obama regime and the A##-Holes in the US Congress are allowed to get away with whatever they want… (and 300 Million ignorant-clueless so called US ‘citizens’ are allowed to “vote” for them every few years…)
    -All I want to do is spew CURSE WORDS at the “press” (…Im looking at you “WH Press Corps”) for allowing Obama and this cesspool of a US Congress to happen.

    • I commend her for having the guts to come out as she did.
      I understand a lot of people stay with their employer, even though they may not like certain things that he may do.
      However I never worked anywhere, where I had to bite my tounge, knowing that my childrens future may be harmed, by the way an employer may act.
      All of the reporters are educated people. So they have no excuse.

  5. This White House is truly the gravedigger of free speech but still somehow, some people in the media picked up their courage and handed a Pulitzer Prize to Washington Post and the Guardian for their “revelation of the widespread secret surveillance by the NSA”, well, it was as close as they could get to handing it to Snowden himself. What are your comments on that, Barry ?

    • Yes one bit of courage. Most of the MSM (may) have spent 1 min. on the Nev. situation.
      On Drudge there is a Flashback: Picture of Reid helping others shove the shovel in the dirt for the Solar Panel near the ranch.
      This deal we all know with CHINA.
      People in Ukraine are be invaded and someone… spent the weekend doing this or that. He should have been at the office boggled down with discussion of what to do.
      There are many, many people who hold jobs who have to go into work, on days, they had planned to take off for fun, or this or that.

  6. It’s not the “WhiteHouse” intimidating a free press, the people at the WhiteHouse don’t have any particular power to make life uncomfortable for a free press; it’s the anonymous federal machine that they control that they threaten or use to silence any media that dares print or broadcast negative or investigative pieces.
    It’s the FCC, the IRS, heck even agencies that we never hear about who can make the media frightened of poking their noses around the dirt from the White House.

    She quit, OK, now what is her plan? It’s not enough for her to write about the restrictions her former employer placed on her efforts, or to just appear here and there and whine about how unfair it is.
    We already know it’s not fair, it’s not the American way, and we have complained for years about the MSM covering up scandals, and promoting every plan or scheme from the liberal Dems as if the whole country is awaiting the next assault on it’s freedoms.

    • I do know she has a book coming out in November on Intimidation of the Media in the Time of Obama. (not the title, but that is the gist).

      As far as the rest of the now state owned media, they sold their souls.

  7. The WH has done a great job of integrating former media members and reporters into positions at the WH. Also, there are plenty of family members of Executives from MSNBC, ABC and CNN. This nothing but another form of lobbyism. This indirect nepotism is stopping investigations and criticism of the Administration.

    I hope real journalists are capable of finding a place to be the fourth estate they thought they were becoming. Maybe this place will become a force to reckon with.

    • Indirect nepotism or incestuous relationship? Here are a few that I’ve had on a list:

      David Rhodes, President of CBS news is brother to Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security advisor, who was also involved in changing the Benghazi talking points.

      ABC News President Ben Sherwood is brother to Dr. Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall, a special assistant to Obama

      Jay Carney, Press Secretary – married to Claire Shipman. ABC correspondent who has served on a WH panel

      Sam Kass, Obama’s personal chef – engaged or married to Alex Wagner, MSNBC anchor

      Virginia Mosely, CNN deputy bureau chief is married to Hillary’s deputy Tom Nides

      • Did you see the story on the Carneys and their life style? They have early Soviet posters in their kitchen as art. Revealing.

        • I thought it revealing also about the posters. I can’t imagine they thought people would see the posters in the photo and there not be any backlash. I read that when Carney worked for Time magazine that he worked out of the Moscow bureau so perhaps that offers some explanation, not that that makes it right.

  8. I watched that yesterday and look forward to the second half of the interview next Sunday.
    She is a beautiful, intelligent, and classy lady.

  9. I commend Attkisson for her courage to come forward and tell about the thuggery from the WH. Without her reporting on Fast and Furious and Benghazi, the stories would have been buried by both the WH and complicit media.

  10. Barack Obama, his inner circle, and everyone in whose acquaintance they feel unintimidated and “in their element” are truly deplorable human beings. The damage they have done to this country, those whom they disagree with ideologically, the political system, those who were once our allies and those who are now proud to call us their enemies, will never be undone. It is really just that simple.

    Elect a hyper-racist troll who has never run anything in his life, never produced an organic profit dollar; whose life is filled not with people, but with composite characters, to the highest office in the land. This is precisely the result.

  11. This intimidation reminds me of Chavez in Venezuela, when Globovision published negative news of his presidency and would be fined for it. But then he controlled the legislators in order to pass a law that would fine the media for doing so