CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson has distinguished herself by reporting on the "Fast & Furious" gunwalking scandal in the Obama Justice Department. The conservative media watchdog group Accuracy in Media awarded her their Reid Irvine Award for investigative reporting at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday -- only Attkisson failed to appear. Instead, Michael Calderone at The Huffington Post wrote CBS Washington bureau chief Christopher Isham accepted the award in Atkisson's honor and said that the network "is very proud of Sharyl's groundbreaking reporting."
Attkisson is the first reporter from a non-conservative media organization to receive AIM's award. In response to the honor, a CBS News spokesperson said, "CBS News journalists are regularly honored by a broad spectrum of organizations for their outstanding original reporting." But liberals were outraged at Attkisson's apparent intention to accept the award in person, that it would glorify AIM and conservatives. Former CBS News man Ed Fouhy accused Attkisson of being a "pawn" before the award was presented.
This is not the liberal position when, say, journalists accept awards from their "progressive" activist groups like the "Maggie Awards" handed out by Planned Parenthood (see Rachel Maddow accept). Or see Barbara Walters accept a GLAAD Media Award in 2008, according to Reuters:
Television journalist Barbara Walters was honored by the gay media watchdog group GLAAD on Monday for her reporting on transgender children and she said the award was among the most important she had even received.
"You can forget all the Emmys," Walters said in accepting the award for television newsmagazine journalism at the 19th annual Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Media Awards. "This means more to me."
Some journalism professors would try to suggest that journalists should only accept awards like the Peabody Awards or the Pulitzer Prizes -- even when those judgment panels are dominated by liberal media and political elites. As Brent Bozell argued in 2006,
In fact, if you look back through the eight years of the Clintons, you’d be incredibly hard-pressed to find more than one Pulitzer awarded for exposing the ever-bubbling Clinton scandals. In 1999, a New York Times team (including ace investigator Jeff Gerth) won for disclosing the "corporate sale of American technology to China, with U.S. government approval." Columnist Maureen Dowd won that year for her Lewinsky-era columns, but they attacked all sides with equal vigor. She railed against Ken Starr for "dragging us down to the point where we have to hear the sex secrets of crepuscular Republican swamp life" like Rep. Dan Burton.
Bozell returned to the subject in 2007:
Let’s start with the Commentary prize, which was awarded to Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The official Pulitzer Prize Board’s press release hailed Tucker’s “courageous, clear-headed columns that evince a strong sense of morality and persuasive knowledge of the community.” Translation: she’s liberal, and she hates George Bush.
...Any conservative student who aspires to be a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist should really try another line of work. Here’s the list since George Will won in 1977 and William Safire won in 1978: Charles Krauthammer in 1987, Paul Gigot in 2000, and Dorothy Rabinowitz in 2001. That’s five conservatives in 30 years.
Three of the last five winners – Tucker, Leonard Pitts, and Colbert King – were leftist black columnists. William Raspberry and E.R. Shipp have also won. But the Pulitzer Prize glorifiers have never honored Thomas Sowell or Walter Williams or other black conservatives.
Since 1992, eight of the sixteen Commentary prize winners have been women. Rabinowitz is the only conservative. Anna Quindlen, Maureen Dowd, Eileen McNamara and Shipp are on the liberal list. Mary McGrory (1975) and Ellen Goodman (1980) also won that prize. But there’s been no Pulitzer for Mona Charen or Michelle Malkin or Linda Chavez or – the Pulitzer people will faint -- Ann Coulter.
There’s never been a Pulitzer for Bill Buckley or Pat Buchanan or Cal Thomas or Robert Novak. Need we say more?
Since then, the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary has been won by three Washington Post columnists and a New York Times columnist. They would argue that Kathleen Parker was a win for conservatives in 2010. Again, need we say more?
Earlier: Geoffrey Dickens compares network evening news and morning news coverage of Obama's Fast and Furious scandal: 29 stories and a brief by Attkisson's CBS, one brief by ABC, and zero by NBC.