Guest post by Kristinn Taylor
The liberal media and conservative outlets are highlighting former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s speculation that Media Matters for America is being paid to attack her reporting that was perceived as critical of the Obama administration. That’s a dog bites man story. Of course the Democratic Party front group is paid to attack reporters and media outlets that critically report on President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party.
What stood out in Attkisson’s comments about Media Matters, made in an interview with Brian Stelter on CNN’s Reliable Sources that was broadcast on Sunday, was the revelation that Media Matters helps produce news reports for CBS News—and given the matter of fact way Attkisson mentioned it—presumably other liberal news outlets as well.
It is widely known that Media Matters ‘works the refs’ in media–trying to spin reporters to discredit conservative media, talk radio personalities and politicians and to report favorably on Democrats.
What has not been widely known until today was the Democratic Party front group’s role in actually producing the news.
Attkisson: “Media Matters, as my understanding, is a far left blog group that I think holds itself out to be sort of an independent watchdog group. And yes, they clearly targeted me at some point. They used to work with me on stories and tried to help me produce my stories, and at some point –“
After Sunday’s broadcast, CNN posted a follow-up story that included a response from Media Matters. The response does not mention previous collaborations with Attkisson and CBS News in producing news reports for the network.
“We also sought comment from Media Matters; Attkisson said she thought it was possible that the liberal media monitoring group had been paid to discredit her. Media Matters responded:
“”Sharyl Attkisson is continuing a pattern of evidence-free speculation that started at the end of her tenure at CBS. We have never taken contributions to target her or any other reporter. Our decision to post any research on Attkisson is based only on her shoddy reporting.””
There was no mention of Media Matters working with Attkisson to produce news reports for CBS News in the recent hit piece by David Brock’s Senior Fellow attack poodle Eric Boehlert posted at Media Matters on April 17th with the laughably dishonest headline (if Attkisson is to be believed):
Sharyl Attkisson Keeps Peddling Hollow ‘Liberal Media Bias’ Claim
Former CBS Reporter Apparently Can’t Produce Any Proof For Conspiracy
CBS News should disclose which reports by the network were done in collaboration with the Democratic Party front group Media Matters. Attkisson should also disclose on which stories she collaborated with Media Matters.
Context of Attkisson’s statement:
Transcript by CNN
STELTER: On the flip side, you’ve been treated harshly by some on the left who say you are presenting conservative bias. You got these dueling impressions of you. Is there truth to that? How do you feel when you’ve heard that?
ATTKISSON: I do think, again, that’s a campaign by those who really want to controversialize the reporting I do so you wouldn’t listen to it, because if anybody took a few minutes really just do a Google search, you would see the dozens and dozens of stories I’ve done that were, in many cases, complemented by liberal press and other liberals as being a very good story, and I have been criticized by the conservative side in the past.
So, I think it wouldn’t take — it wouldn’t take much for someone —
STELTER: Do you think that’s what Media Matters is doing? Media Matters has been campaigning against you and saying you’ve been inaccurate in your reporting, is that what they’re doing? They’re just trying to controversialize the issue?
ATTKISSON: Media Matters, as my understanding, is a far left blog group that I think holds itself out to be sort of an independent watchdog group. And yes, they clearly targeted me at some point. They used to work with me on stories and tried to help me produce my stories, and at some point —
STELTER: That’s interesting.
ATTKISSON: Well, I think they call — don’t they call you? I mean, they call journalists and they’re trying to —
STELTER: Right, they’re always emailing things, making us —
STELTER: — try to act outraged about something, right?
ATTKISSON: And I was certainly friendly with them as anybody, good information can come from any source. But when I persisted with Fast and Furious and some of the green energy stories I was doing, I clearly at some point became a target, that they — you know, I don’t know if someone paid them to do it or if they took it on their own. But they were very much —
STELTER: Do you think that’s possible that someone paid them?
ATTKISSON: Well, they get contributions from — yes, they get contributions from —
STELTER: But specifically to target you?
ATTKISSON: Perhaps, sure. I think that’s what some of these groups do, absolutely.