Sharyl Attkisson: Media Isn’t Following Rules of Journalism in Attacking Trump
Sharyl Attkisson has been at the forefront of providing investigative journalism in the midst of a liberal media that has aided and abetted the enemies of America. She recently commented on the media’s explicit bias and failure to follow the rules of journalism. One of the major factors as Attkisson sees it, is that they are scared of President Donald Trump and they are scared of what it may cost them.
Fear is always a great motivator to people. The problem comes when they fear man more than they fear the true and living God who holds the hearts of men in his hand and turns them as He wills (Proverbs 21:1).
Following CNN’s producer John Bonifield being caught on hidden camera admitting that there is no proof of the Russian narrative that CNN is peddling and the resignation of three CNN reporters for publishing a fabricated story, something that is not uncommon with CNN, Attkisson spoke to Tucker Carlson about her perspective on what is going on.
Attikisson, who is also promoting a new book, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote, told Carlson that the establishment is scared of Trump and they are simply not being good journalists.
“This is a confluence of factors including we have now invited pundits and political operatives into our newsroom not just as commentators and pundits but also as reporters, anchors in editorial positions,” she said. “So, sometimes there’s little meaningful difference now I think between the people reporting the news and the political operatives who want to advance news narratives. That’s a problem.”
“I also think that the establishment, I’m talking Democrats, Republicans, and the media establishment have exempted themselves from the normal journalism rules and rules of political behavior because they see Donald Trump as such a big threat,” she added. “They would say a Hitleresque threat. That means they don’t have to follow the normal rules of journalism in this case. I think it’s more of a threat to the system of favors, money, and access that has been developed through what we have known as a political establishment.”
Attkisson then elaborated on why she believes the media is scared of Donald Trump.
“Washington survives on a system that has gone on for decades of access and money where people have spent decades paying into certain politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, to make sure certain political hearings don’t happen, to make sure certain laws have provisions written in. All of a sudden, overnight, all of that access they’ve bought, all the hard work they have done as lobbyists and so on is almost worthless if Trump’s reality of Washington comes into play and nobody seems to like that.”
When asked what the long-term costs of the media acting like Trump is a despot when he isn’t, Attkisson said, “The news media is suffering a credibility gap in general because it has decided to blur together like I have never seen before — opinion and advocacy journalism with what I think people would like to think is more straight news, journalism, reporting of just the facts. I think that harm is going to take a long time to dial back if they even want to dial it back. And I’m not sure we do.”
Finally, Attkisson was asked what happens where there really is a crisis, but no one believes the self-proclaimed reporters.
“I kind of liken it in the extreme to the situation, as it must be in North Korea, if you have a TV and can watch the news and it’s going to be a version that’s approved and put out by the state, I think in some respects we are getting artificial reality created by people who are putting out narratives, whether Democrats, Republicans, or corporate interests and people sense, at least some people, that they’re not getting an accurate picture,” Attkisson said. “And I think if you are like me, there is very little that I see reported on the news that I instantly believe without doing my own checking because so many formerly reputable news organizations have been proven to be 180 degrees wrong not just a little bit wrong.”
“So many insisted President Trump was under investigation when he wasn’t,” she added. “So many that insisted it couldn’t be true that Comey had told him three times he wasn’t under investigation, when that was the case. These sorts of things with very little repercussions when the reporting turns out to be wrong based on, I think, highly inadequate standards, reporters doing things that wouldn’t be allowed in journalism schools but doing them now with impunity.”
It’s almost like the boy who cried wolf, isn’t it?
Attkisson has said the left started the “fake news” mantra as a “propaganda campaign.”
“Yes, fake news exists, but the idea that there is this huge campaign behind it to controversialize certain reports and censor, in my view, certain views is a propaganda campaign,” she said in December 2016 following the election. “And I think when David Brock, Hillary Clinton’s ally from Media Matters, announced that he would be the arbitrator, or help be the arbitrator, of so called fake news, that sort of sealed the deal that the whole thing is a propaganda effort and a political effort, not really an honest effort to seek out facts, but more to determine for other people what truth they should hear.”
“Complacency in the new media, combined with incredibly powerful propaganda and publicity forces means we sometimes get little of the truth,” she said. “Special interests have unlimited time and money to figure out new ways to spin us while cloaking their role. Surreptitious astroturf methods are now more important to these interests than traditional lobbying of Congress.”
Part of that manipulation is by creating what she referred to as “astroturf.”
“It’s a perversion of grassroots, as in fake grassroots,” she said. “Astroturf is when political, corporate and other special interests disguise themselves and publish blogs, start Facebook and Twitter accounts, publish ads, letters to the editor, or simply post comments online to try to fool you into thinking an independent or grassroots movement is speaking.”
The goal of astroturf is to change your opinion and to make you feel like you are outside the mainstream when you are not.