Will CBS News disgrace itself over Sharyl Attkisson's honest reporting?
Sharyl Attkisson has distinguished herself with skeptical inquiry into Obama administration stories on Fast and Furious and Benghazigate, and perhaps as a result is reportedly in trouble with her bosses at CBS News. Dylan Byers of Politico reports:
CBS News...has grown increasingly frustrated with Attkisson's Benghazi campaign. CBS News executives see Attkisson wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue, network sources have told POLITICO. Attkisson can't get some of her stories on the air, and is thus left feeling marginalized and underutilized. That, in part, is why Attkisson is in talks to leave CBS ahead of contract, as POLITICO reported in April.
This leak to Politico by CBS news execs comes in the wake of an admiring profile in the Washington Post of Attkisson, the sort of favorable publicity that is guaranteed to ignite the jealousy of other talent, not merely out of envy but because Attkisson is exposing the rest of the crew as in the bag for the Obama administration.
Recall that CBS's own Bob Schieffer is also openly expressing interest in the evident cover-up underway over Benghazigate, and devoted the first segment of Face the Nation on Sunday to the story. For CBS to crawl even further into the tank in order to rid itself of real journalists using real journalistic skepticism of the powers-that-be would be a self-destructive act. Face it, broadcast networks are a failing business, with two already reported considering dropping over-the-air service in order to become exclusively distributed by cable (which generates lucrative viewer revenue). This would generate smaller audiences, but higher revenue. In such circumstances, it is likely that news broadcasts, which provide only a small portion of the total content, would be dropped, because the overhead of running a news operation is considerable, and there are already three cable news outlets (4 if your count Headline News) that dominate that niche.
Perhaps under these circumstances, the CBS honchos are willing to discredit their news operations to protect Obama and progressive machine, since there is a limited future for their own news operations. But there are risks associated with that strategy, particularly since it appears that the Benghazi cover-up is falling apart.
Sharyl Attkisson is already a star, with many admirers of her courage and honesty. Should CBS News make her a martyr, she will benefit and they will be in disgrace, opening up a world of scorn that they do not understand. This situation bears close watching.