She was known for hard-hitting investigative journalism, and now Sharyl Attkisson may have become the latest casualty in the increasing battle to silence those voices relentless in the pursuit of the truth.
After a long and successful career with CBS News, Emmy-award winning Attkisson has resigned in what she has termed an “amicable” split, after increasing frustration with the network for their liberal bias and marginalization of her stories.
The White House is clearly no fan of Sharyl Attkisson and may be breathing a sigh of relief. Rumors abound about her motives, but the facts are that Attkisson refused to back down on stories that other reporters handled with kid gloves, even when taking heat from the Obama Administration.
It was while Atkisson was investigating allegations in Fast and Furious and green energy investments by the administration that her computer was hacked last year. A number of AP and Fox journalists also reported hacking of their computers, and there was a huge public outcry at the time. Sharyl Attkisson spoke with radio talk show host Chris Stigall about the hacking:
The First Amendment of the US Constitution secures the freedom of the press, a highly cherished American value. The Founding Fathers saw this as an important means of ensuring justice in the government. Sharyl Attkisson sought to do just that with her unrelenting pursuit of the truth.
Her Twitter page reveals her perception of her role: “@Sharyl Attkisson. Investigative Journalist. Dreaming of a day when public officials answer questions as if they know they work for the public.”
Sharyl Attkisson is known for her tenacity in investigating those stories that government officials wish they could sweep under the rug and forget they exist. Relentlessly, Attkisson delved into the untold story behind the Benghazi scandal and IRS targeting of tea party groups.
And it has cost her. In 2007-2009, Sharyl Attkisson was one of the top 20 network correspondents, but by 2012 and 2013, she was ranked at #100. She dropped from 160 minutes of airtime per year to a low of just 36 minutes in 2012. Attkisson’s once strong and influential voice was being marginalized, and she did not like it. After attempting to resign from unsupportive CBS last April, Attkisson was finally able to get out of her contract on Monday.
Now that she is free to pursue other interests, Politico reports that Sharyl Attkisson will remain in the same vein of investigative reporting as she continues work on her book, tentatively titled, “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight for Truth in Obama’s Washington,” where she will expose the difficulty of getting straight answers in Washington DC.
It is the work of reporters like Sharyl Attkisson that connects the people to their government and holds officials accountable. The Founding Fathers saw freedom of the press as a vital component of liberty and the prevention of tyranny.
It is being reported that Russian interests are attempting to squelch media voices in Ukraine during the current crisis. Journalists have reportedly been assaulted, held back at gunpoint, and even kidnapped. Nina Ognianova with the Committee to Protect Journalists states:
A plurality of views is crucial in this time of crisis. If there is going to be a conflict resolution, this is the only way that this conflict could be resolved.
No matter what one’s political views, whether left or right, conservative or liberal, or somewhere in between, the freedom for the press to investigate stories, especially those involving government, is important to all. Sharyl Attkisson will no longer be working for CBS, but it appears certain that she will never relent in her pursuit for truth. What do you think?