"The government has adopted corporate tactics in pushing back against news stories that it wants to bury," claimed former national CBS news reporter, Sharyl Attkisson. Friday, the Drudge Report may have stirred a free press storm by pointing to a story and audio in which Atkinson described to Chris Stigall how "unseen influences on the media," was repressing news at all levels.
According to Attkisson, a behind the scenes environment exists in which she and fellow national reporters can't "break original investigative stories." That climate is putting "unprecedented pressure," against reporters and news organizations to go for the easy stories, dumping reports that might rock the media boat into a dead-on-arrival file.
Atkinson defined the investigative news repression as a "cultural thing" occurring inside and behind the scene of the news. About news organizations priorities, Attkinson said, " Dig down right into something very, very important... a point where when you get close, they're not interested in the story anymore. " She added that her collegues have voiced the same concerns about dealing "with the sort of efforts that are put against us to manipulate stories."
Recently, creator of the Drudge Report, Matt Drudge, he was hearing a background buzz of news repression in his conversations with national news reporters as well. However, where Attkisson failed to tread, Drudge stepped boldly. Drudge posted a name and a government agency very near the White House.
"One common theme during conversations with national news reporters," is that "critical investigative journalism is all but dead," tweeted Drudge. Drudge damned the Department of Justice (DOJ) headed by Eric Holder as the reason investigative stories under the Obama administration had all but ceased. He inferred the prevailing fear that the DOJ was tracking reporter's sources had effectively killed the information flow.
In 2013, Attorney General Eric Holder spoke at a news conference at which he said he recused himself last year from a national security leak probe in which prosecutors obtained the phone records of Associated Press journalists in Washington, DC. It is that kind of spying of journalists that have chilled investigative journalism.
Rupert Murdoch, the media news mogul, who owns Fox was recently heralded by Drudge as "The greatest living newsman on earth," because he, like no other modern newsman, was adept at "fracturing the media landscape." It was inevitable that Stigall would ask if Attkisson would be happier working in Murdoch's atmosphere where reports apt to cause a few "fractures" don't meet a brick wall. Attkisson responded she wasn't quite ready, but left her options open to an offer. (Refer to: Drudge honors Rupert Murdoch: 'The greatest living newsman on earth,' but worries that even 'the great Murdoch' might be 'contained by Obama.' )
Attkisson's newly formed website , is receiving some very positive attention. On the site, Attkisson promises to resist "undue corporate, political and other special interests.” Though still a premiere website, already her stories on the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal, Benghazi, Obamacare and more are archived under tabs. Attkisson's website offers an opportunity for issue immersion in one area, much easier to access than combing through the internet to harvest stories one at a time.
Perhaps Attkisson has found her perfect niche and can build a stable from repressed national reporters weary of fighting the repression of free speech. Perhaps Attkisson won't need Fox or any other network to be successful. No one can deny that going it alone certainly worked for the Drudge Report, a website some have called a national treasure, the "pot stirrer," for free press.