By Chris Stigall
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Chris Stigall talked to former CBS News Reporter Sharyl Attkisson this morning on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about the trouble reporters have to deal with while covering politicians and the government, as well as the current state of investigative reporting.
Responding to comments regarding a Phoenix television reporter yesterday who initially claimed that the White House pre-screens questions from reporters, Attkisson said, “I wouldn’t surprised if sometimes there is that level of cooperation with some questions. If I need something answered from the White House and they won’t tell me, I’ll call our White House Correspondent. They’re friendlier with the White House Correspondents in general. So the White House Correspondent may ask Jay Carney or one of his folks about an issue and they will be told ‘ask that at the briefing and we’ll answer it.’ They want to answer it in front of everybody. They do know it’s coming and they’ll call on you. There’s that kind of coordination sometimes. I wouldn’t be shocked if there’s sometimes more coordination. I don’t think it’s everybody on every briefing, every day. I’m pretty sure it’s not. But I think people would be surprised at the level of cooperation reporters have in general with politicians.”
She also said it is more and more difficult for investigative reporters to get their stories published or on the air because of the trouble it may cause.
“Nobody was interested in the stories. It didn’t seem to matter what the topic was. There’s sort of a problem all over, I talk to my colleagues in different mediums. There’s just a lot of pressure. Investigative reporting gets a lot of backlash. They don’t quite know how to deal with it. Why not just put on stories that don’t draw that kind of response?”
Attkisson also confirmed she’s working on a book about how stories are reported in the media.
“I’ve been wanting to write about the unseen influences on the media by coordinated, paid factions, whether they’re from political, corporate or other special interests, the tactics they use to manipulate the images we see, not just in the news but on Facebook, Wikipedia, or fake Twitter accounts. It’s become a way of life and I don’t think the public is aware of how much nearly everything you see today may be influenced, in some fashion, by a paid interest that wants you to think something,” Attkisson said.