Sharyl Attkisson on the new Benghazi email revelations
On Wednesday morning, Glenn Beck interviewed former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson – one of the few mainstream media reporters to do actual, skeptical reporting on the Benghazi affair, and other Obama Administration scandals, which is a big reason why she’s a “former CBS News reporter” – about the White House spin-control emails uncovered by Judicial Watch.
Beck mentioned the fraternal relationship between White House communications adviser Ben Rhodes and his brother, CBS News honcho David Rhodes, who was not entirely supportive of Attkisson’s reporting on Benghazi. She said she was glad to see “a little more light” shed on this relationship, and confirmed CBS News decided not to make the sort of Freedom of Information Act request that Judicial Watch used to pry the truth out of the Administration. (It should, however, be noted that CBS was the one and only mainstream media network to cover yesterday’s stunning Benghazi revelations, and while they gave the last word to White House spin doctors, they provided a fairly thorough report.)
Attkisson lamented the incestuous relationship between Big Government and Big Media, where media figures slip easily through revolving doors to become Administration officials and vice versa – a “perfect storm” that leads to both deliberate, ideological media bias, and an almost unconscious tendency to ignore stories that don’t appeal to the tastes of the joint Administration/media culture.
Beck brought up the weird hacking incident in which Attkisson’s computers were remotely activated and searched – an incident confirmed as a hacker attack by CBS News security experts, although the identity of the perpetrators remains officially unknown. Attkission said she remains “outraged” by the attack, and has long said she suspects she knows who was responsible, but deferred further questions to her lawyer. Beck and Attkisson discussed the growing atmosphere of intimidation against journalists who don’t toe the Administration/Big Media party line.
Attkisson also discussed the still-mysterious events of September 11, 2012, making some interesting points about how we still don’t know what Barack Obama did while the Benghazi attack was unfolding, why the national security apparatus seemed “paralyzed” for six or seven crucial hours, or why there were no contingency preparations whatsoever for such an event. She noted that the White House is usually eager to put out photos of Obama and his White House team looking deeply concerned and “managing” major crises, but adamantly refuses to furnish such documentary evidence for the night of September 11, despite her repeated requests. For once, nobody wants to publish those “Obama holding a phone and frowning” photos.
Beck and Attkisson wind up with an interesting discussion about how the White House strategy for slow-walking these revelations, choking information off to a series of drips and leaks until the public becomes numb and the media dismisses the story as old news, works extremely well… provided the media is willing to play along with it. There’s no question that Obama’s plan to survive Benghazi by dissembling and obfuscating his way through one news cycle at a time – tell any lie necessary to make it through the Sunday shows, tell different lies when the original story falls apart, keep going until your media pals can dismiss the whole thing as a confusing political argument of no great interest to the general public – was highly effective.
But that doesn’t work if the media is filling every broadcast and cable channel with angry accusations of “stonewalling” and bombarding the government with urgent FOIA requests, as they would surely do under a Republican administration. Which is a very good argument for having a Republican administration. At least we know the media wouldn’t sit idly by, or even pitch in to help, as disastrous blunders with body counts were covered up… followed by cover-ups of the cover up. The press should be smashing its way through such a political hall of mirrors with sledgehammers, not standing outside and selling tickets.