Sharyl Attkisson To Lou Dobbs: Reporters Skip Scandals to Avoid Looking Like 'Right-Wing Nuts'

Thursday evening on the Fox Business Network, host Lou Dobbs of Lou Dobbs Tonight was joined by Emmy award winning reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who recently signed on with the Heritage Foundation's Daily Signal website as a senior independent contributor. The two discussed the recent news surrounding the ongoing IRS scandal and the liberal media’s apparent uninterest in the story.

Dobbs asked Attkisson why the liberal media refuses to report the story and rather insists on "behaving much more like lap dogs" instead of doing their job and serving as a “watch dog.” Attkisson argued that the media is being run by a “propaganda interest” that insists any coverage of any scandals involving the Obama administration are “phony” and perpetrated by “right-wing nuts.”

The Daily Signal writer argued that the media ought not to be swayed by the propaganda that tells them, “if you’re interested in the story you’re a conservative and a right-wing nut.” Dobbs noted that Attkisson, when she worked at CBS News, had been the subject of e-mail hacking and asked if the media’s obvious decision not to cover these controversies has been at all “chilling” to her. Attkisson lamented that she has found the media’s behavior to be “disturbing” and it makes her “angry,” vowing that it would not stop her from “doing the job that I need to do.”

As NewsBusters has documented, the liberal media broadcast networks have refused to stay on top of the latest IRS scandal revelations, even as they find time for wild car chases and reality TV star Kate Gosselin.

The relevant portion is transcribed below:

Fox Business Network
Lou Dobbs Tonight
June 19, 2014
7:18 p.m. Eastern

LOU DOBBS: Sharyl, the question becomes what are the powers of Congress? We’ve seen this Congress stonewalled at every turn. Whether its Fast and Furious, whether it is spying on journalist, whether it’s IRS targeting, Benghazi. The list goes on and on and on. Yet the national liberal media, as I often style it, simply will not rise up to the level of a watchdog for the state. Instead they are behaving much more like lap dogs. It is, to me, mind boggling.

SHARYL ATTKISSON: They’re just not terribly interested or their interests often lie elsewhere in other stories. That in the limited time they have on television to tell stories they can find plenty of other ways to fill in the space then to look into some of these controversies. I think to some degree they have been played by propaganda interests who suggest that if these stories are covered they are simply phony scandals and Republican generated. Which they’re not, in my opinion. From a neutral viewpoint there are many important questions to be asked and implications here. But the propaganda campaign says that if you’re interested in the story you’re a conservative and a right-wing nut. And media should not be swayed by that but, I think to some degree they are.

DOBBS: If your last name is Rhodes, one of you works to run CBS news and other is working national security in White House that just happens to be a familial matter that is of no interest to the nation. You have had your phones tapped, you’ve had your computers hacked. This has got to be chilling to you?

ATTKISSON: Well, to some degree, obviously it is disturbing, it makes me angry. It doesn’t chill me. It doesn’t dissuade me from doing the job that I need to do. I was never intended to find out this was happening. I found out by happenstance and luck. I think they are trying to find out what I was about to report on, what sources were speaking to me, and how much I knew about the controversial stories I was reporting on at the time.

DOBBS: Sharyl we appreciate you being with us.
 

Jackie Seal
Jackie Seal is a 2014 summer intern with the MRC's News Analysis Division.