This week, the Washington Post published a story on the results of a study by the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES). The study appears to show that more than 14% of non-citizens were registered to vote in both the 2008 and 2010 elections, that 6.4 % of non-citizens voted in 2008, and 2.2% of non-citizens voted in 2010. This, the study reasonably concluded, would be enough to change the results of some close elections, both then and, if the same kinds of numbers hold true, in the coming one.
Since the partisan fight over voter ID’s and various measures that make it easier to register to vote still rages, I assumed that this would be a big story. Hope springs eternal, and I am an idiot. Even though the source of the report was the Washington Post, a reliable liberal/progressive/Democrat-promoting mainstream media engine, the story was buried, or at least has been so far. Perusing the list of links to it on the web, I found fewer than 20; in contrast there were more than 500 links on Google to reports of the death of Jack Bruce, the bassist for Cream. Moreover, the 20-ish links contained nothing but right-leaning and conservative blogs, networks and publications: Fox (of course)…Brietbart…the National Review…The Daily Caller…The Washington Times…The Examiner, a few more. ABC? CBS? NBC? MSNBC? (“Illegal immigrants? That’s immigrants, you racist!”) NPR? CNN? The New York Times? USA Today? No, no, no, no, no, no, and no. (The Wall Street Journal hasn’t covered the study either.)
This is just the most recent example illustrating how miserably the national media does its job, and how its choice of stories is unconscionably warped by the political and ideological agendas of publishers, editors and reporters who abuse their positions and discard the duties of their profession and their country.
We can expect similar results upon the release of Sharyl Attkisson’s new exposé of bias in the news media, “Stonewalled.” Despite the fact that Attkisson is an award-winning journalist who never showed any partisan proclivities in a two-decade year career as reporter for CBS News, her damning book will be either ignored, or, more likely, derided by the mainstream media, because it directly challenges the amazingly resilient lie that American journalism is non-partisan objective. Her book shouldn’t be needed— the frightening I.R.S scandal is still embargoed from the news, after all; the New York Times ran an editorial this week chiding Democrats for running away from President Obama because he had been so gosh-darned successful; CNN’s Carol Costello has not been forced to apologize to Bristol Palin on the air and still has a job—-but reaching the verdict that the obvious is also fact has proven impossible so far. When so many citizens are hearing news that confirms their own biases and beliefs, it can only mean that the news media is objective, right?
Thus Attkisson will be dismissed by her former colleagues as a “disgruntled employee,” an undercover right-wing extremist, a traitor to the ideals of liberty who inexplicably snapped one day and went over to the dark side…maybe a racist, since that’s been the de-legitimizing accusation of last resort for Democrats this election cycle.
Among the anecdotes in “Stonewalled,” according to a New York Post preview:
- When the longtime CBS reporter 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.”
- A White House staffer, Eric Schultz, didn’t like being pressed for answers about the Fast and Furious scandal in which American agents directed guns into the arms of Mexican drug lords. “Goddammit, Sharyl!” 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!”
- Working on a piece that raised questions about the American Red Cross disaster response, she says a boss told her, “We must do nothing to upset our corporate partners . . . until the stock splits.” (Parent company Viacom and CBS split in 2006).
- Reporting on the many green-energy firms such as Solyndra that went belly-up after burning through hundreds of millions in Washington handouts, Attkisson ran into increasing difficulty getting her stories on the air. A colleague told her about the following exchange: “[The stories] are pretty significant,” said a news exec. “Maybe we should be airing some of them on the ‘Evening News?’ ” Replied the program’s chief Pat Shevlin, “What’s the matter, don’t you support green energy?”
- One of her bosses had a rule that conservative analysts must always be labeled conservatives, but liberal analysts were simply “analysts.”“And if a conservative analyst’s opinion really rubbed the supervisor the wrong way,” says Attkisson, “she might rewrite the script to label him a ‘right-wing’ analyst.”
- In mid-October 2012, with the presidential election coming up, Attkisson says CBS suddenly lost interest in airing her reporting on the Benghazi attacks. “The light switch turns off,” she writes. “Most of my Benghazi stories from that point on would be reported not on television, but on the Web.”
- When Attkisson had an exclusive, on-camera interview lined up with Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, the YouTube filmmaker Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice publicly blamed for the Benghazi attacks, CBS News president Rhodes nixed the idea: “That’s kind of old news, isn’t it?” he said.
- A story on waste at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, planned for the CBS Weekend News, was watered down and turned into a “bland non-story” before airing: An exec she doesn’t identify who was Shevlin’s “number two,” she says, “reacted as if the story had disparaged his best friend. As if his best friend were Mr. Federal Government. ‘Well, this is all the states’ fault!’ . . . he sputtered.”
- Meanwhile, she says, though no one confronted her directly, a “whisper campaign” began; “If I offered a story on pretty much any legitimate controversy involving government, instead of being considered a good journalistic watchdog, I was anti-Obama.”
- After Scott Pelley and Shevlin aired a report that wrongly tarnished reports by Attkisson (and Jonathan Karl of ABC News) on how the administration scrubbed its talking points of references to terrorism after Benghazi, and did so without mentioning that the author of some of the talking points, Ben Rhodes, was the brother of the president of CBS News, she says a colleague told her, “[CBS] is selling you down the river. They’ll gladly sacrifice your reputation to save their own. If you don’t stand up for yourself, nobody will.”
Of course, the New York Post is a conservative news source, a paper owned by Fox New mogul Rupert Murdoch. Obviously, these are all lies. This should get the effort to dismiss Attkisson as an anti-Obama zealot into high gear.
Ethics Alarms attempts to give proper attribution and credit to all sources of facts, analysis and other assistance that go into its blog posts, and seek written permission when appropriate. If you are aware of one I missed, or believe your own work or property was used in any way without proper attribution, credit or permission, please contact me, Jack Marshall, at firstname.lastname@example.org.