WaPo’s Erik Wemple continues poring over former CBS News correspondent Sharyl Attkisson’s new book, Stonewalled and comes across an episode that is at the heart of her story. As we’ve reported here, Attkisson has said time and again that “CBS Evening News” producers went out of their way to keep her stories from making air. Or when they did air, either “heavy-handed editing” stripped away much of her reporting or politics got in the way.
This came to a head during CBS’s reporting in the weeks after the attack in Benghazi, just as the 2012 election was heating up. Attkisson writes:
So for the second time in five days, New York has us insert the same line and Obama sound bite in an Evening News story to imply that the president had called Benghazi a terrorist attack the next day. It seems as though they’re putting a lot of effort into trying to defend the president on this point.
Attkisson says she then went straight to the top:
A few weeks later, I met with [CBS News President] David Rhodes during one of his regular visits to Washington. I asked for an update on the internal investigation. For me, there was no point in pulling punches. Speaking of the ‘Evening News’ managers who I felt had been a party to covering up the Obama bite, I said, ‘They’re dishonest, they’re unethical, and they’re not very smart. I don’t trust them, I don’t respect them, and I can’t work for them.”