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White House can breathe easier as Attkisson bows out at CBS

Maybe now that Sharyl Attkisson has left CBS News, President Obama will not be scowling so much.
Maybe now that Sharyl Attkisson has left CBS News, President Obama will not be scowling so much.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Award-winning CBS investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, who first exposed Operation Fast and Furious to a national audience, resigned yesterday, ending a 20-year career that included explosive revelations about the gun trafficking scandal, Benghazi and other Obama administration problems.

Perhaps the Obama White House is breathing easier today, not worrying about what Attkisson might report tomorrow. She posted the resignation on Twitter.

Attkisson’s exclusive interview with Fast and Furious whistleblower John Dodson took the Fast and Furious scandal to a national audience a few weeks after Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea and independent blogger Mike Vanderboegh first exposed the mismanaged gun trafficking scheme, launched by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in 2009. It was shut down following the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010,and led to congressional hearings that produced a voluminous report but resulted in no criminal actions.

In a statement quoted yesterday by the Washington Post, Attkisson took the high road, noting, “It’s been one of life’s great privileges to work at CBS News, and I’m sincerely grateful for the many opportunities I’ve had.”

But beneath the pavement of that high road lurks a harsh reality. Attkisson, according to other reports of her departure, was “frustrated” with CBS News for not giving her stories more air time. She is reportedly now working on a book “Stonewalled: One Reporter’s Fight For Truth In Obama’s Washington” to be published by Harper Collins, according to Politico.

In a telephone conversation yesterday unrelated to the Attkisson story, Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, told this column, “The media…might as well have taken down their mastheads and logos and put on Obama bumper stickers. The truth be damned.”

Had Fast and Furious been exposed under a Republican administration, it’s a safe bet that it would have been front page news, above the fold, in every major establishment newspaper, every day until someone was fired, indicted and/or impeached. Likewise with the Benghazi scandal, and everybody knows it.

Attkisson is a gutsy, aggressive journalist, having annoyingly beat this column more than once on Fast and Furious revelations. Perhaps not surprisingly, as Attkisson continued digging into unpopular scandals, some media colleagues evidently felt she was biased. As Politico reported yesterday, “But Attkisson had become a polarizing figure at the network, sources there said. While some championed her relentless dedication to investigations — ranging from defective Firestone tires to the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal — others saw evidence of a political agenda, particularly against President Barack Obama.”

The flip side of that coin, of course, is that the bias may be on the side of her unidentified critics who, some observers suspect, have been essentially running interference for the president and his cronies, including Attorney General Eric Holder, since Obama first took office in 2009. Last year, Attkisson confirmed that her computer had been hacked, by an as yet unidentified source outside of CBS News.

What happens now? Perhaps the more appropriate question is “What doesn’t happen now?” Attkisson’s departure on the eve of the mid-term election cycle is a downer for many reasons, not the least of which would be the opportunities to remind the pubic about Benghazi, Fast and Furious and other Obama administration debacles. Attkisson is not a “voice” for administration critics, but a microscope through which the public has been able to see what is in the political pablum they get from the administration’s media toadies.

Examiner hopes to be first in line for a copy of her book. It should make fascinating reading.

Conservative Examiner Joe Newby weighs in here.


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