Sharyl Attkisson

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Sharyl Attkisson
Attkisson on USAF B-52 in 1999, one of the first journalists to fly on a combat mission over Kosovo
Born January 26, 1961 (age 54)
Sarasota, Florida, U.S.
Education University of Florida
Occupation Writer, journalist, television reporter/correspondent
Website Official website

Sharyl Attkisson (born January 26, 1961)[1] is an American author and formerly an investigative correspondent in the Washington bureau for CBS News. She had also substituted as anchor for the CBS Evening News. She resigned from CBS News on March 10, 2014 after 21 years with the network. She hosts the weekly Sunday public affairs program Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson, which airs on television stations operated by the Sinclair Broadcast Group.[2] Her book Stonewalled reached number 5 on New York Times best seller list in November 2014.[3]

Early life[edit]

Attkisson was born in 1961 in Sarasota, Florida.[4] Her step-father is an orthopedic surgeon and her brother is an emergency room physician. Attkisson graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism in 1982.[5]


Attkisson began her broadcast journalism career in 1982, aged 22, as a reporter at WUFT-TV, the PBS station in Gainesville, Florida. She later worked as an anchor and reporter at WTVX-TV Fort Pierce/West Palm Beach, Florida from 1982–85, WBNS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio from 1985–86, and WTVT Tampa, Florida (1986–90).[6]


From 1990–93, Attkisson was an anchor for CNN, and also served as a key anchor for CBS space exploration coverage in 1993.[7] Attkisson left CNN in 1993,[8] moving to CBS, where she anchored the television news broadcast CBS News Up to the Minute and became an investigative correspondent based in Washington D.C.[6]

She served on the University of Florida's Journalism College Advisory Board (1993–97) and was its chair in 1996.[6] The university gave her an Outstanding Achievement Award in 1997. From 1997 to 2003, Attkisson simultaneously hosted CBS News Up to the Minute and the PBS Health news magazine HealthWeek.[9]


Attkisson received an Investigative Reporters and Editors (I.R.E.) Finalist award for Dangerous Drugs in 2000.[10] In 2001, Attkisson received an Investigative Emmy Award nomination for Firestone Tire Fiasco from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.[11]

In 2002, she co-authored a college textbook, Writing Right for Broadcast and Internet News; later that same year she won an Emmy Award for her Investigative Journalism about the American Red Cross.[6] The award was presented in New York City on September 10, 2002.[12] Attkisson was part of the CBS News team that received RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2005 for Overall Excellence.[10]

In 2006, Attkisson served as Capitol Hill correspondent for CBS,[13] as one of a small number of female anchors covering the 2006 midterms.[14] Attkisson was part of the CBS News team that received RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2008 for Overall Excellence.[10]

In 2008, Attkisson said that a claim by Hillary Clinton to have dodged sniper fire in Bosnia was unfounded: Clinton's trip to Bosnia was risky, she said, but no real bullets were dodged.[15] In 2009, she won an Investigative Emmy Award for Business and Financial Reporting for her exclusive reports on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the bank bailout.[10] The award was presented on December 7 at Fordham University's Lincoln Center Campus in New York City.[16]


Attkisson returned to the University of Florida as a keynote speaker at the College of Journalism and Communications in 2010.[5] That same year, she received an Emmy Award nomination for her investigations into members of Congress, and she also received a 2010 Emmy Award nomination for her investigation into waste of tax dollars.[17] In July 2011, Attkisson was nominated for an Emmy Award for her Follow the Money investigations into Congressional travel to the Copenhagen climate summit, and problems with aid to Haiti earthquake victims.[10][18]

In 2011, Paul Offit criticized Attkisson's reporting on vaccines in his book Deadly Choices as "damning by association" and lacking sufficient evidence.[19] Attkisson has been identified in the medical literature as problematically using rhetorical tactics that "imply that because there is no conclusive answer to certain problems, vaccines remain a plausible culprit."[20]

In 2012, CBS News accepted an Investigative Reporting Award given to Attkisson's reporting on ATF's Fast and Furious gunwalker controversy. The award was from Accuracy in Media, a non-profit news media watchdog group, and was presented at a Conservative Political Action Conference.[21]

In June 2012, Attkisson's investigative reporting for the Gunwalker story also won the CBS Evening News the Radio and Television News Directors Association's National Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Video Investigative Reporting. The award was presented October 8, 2012 in New York City.[22] In July 2012, Attkisson's Gunwalker: Fast and Furious reporting received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Investigative Journalism.[23]

On March 10, 2014, Attkisson resigned from CBS News.[24] She stated that the parting was "amicable". [25] Politico reported that according to sources within CBS there had been tensions leading to "months of hard-fought negotiations" – that Attkisson had been frustrated over what she perceived to be the network's liberal bias and lack of dedication to investigative reporting, as well as issues she had with the network’s corporate partners, while some[who?] within the network saw her reporting as agenda-driven and doubted her impartiality.[25]

Later that year came the release of her New York Times Best Seller, Stonewalled: One Reporter's Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington (Harpers),[3] in which she accused CBS of running advertorials and of protecting the Obama administration by not giving enough coverage to such stories as the 2012 Benghazi attack and slow initial enrollments under Obamacare.[26]

In February 2015, Attkisson gave a TEDx talk at the University of Nevada. In the talk, she said that astroturfing was swaying public opinion, legislation and media outlets.[27]

Report of Attkisson's computer being hacked[edit]

In May 2013, while still employed at CBS, Attkisson alleged that her personal and work computers had been "compromised" for more than two years.[28] CBS News stated that it had investigated her work computer and found evidence of multiple unauthorized accesses by a third party in late 2012.[29] The U.S. Department of Justice denied any involvement.[30] In her 2014 book, she alleged that her personal computer was hacked with keystroke logging spyware, enabling an intruder to read all her e-mail messages and gain access to the passwords for her financial accounts.[31]

In October 2014, just before the publication of her book, Attkisson released a video that she said corroborated her allegations of having her computer hacked.[32] However, left-leaning media watchdog group Media Matters reported that security experts have suggested the video appears to show only that the delete key or the backspace key on her keyboard was stuck.[33][34]

In late January 2015, Attkisson appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee[35] during a confirmation hearing for Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. Attkisson's testimony concentrated on the Justice Department under Holder and was not related to Lynch's qualifications.[by whom?] As part of her appearance in front of that committee, a report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was released[36] stating that "their investigation was not able to substantiate... allegations that Attkisson's computers were subject to remote intrusions by the FBI, other government personnel, or otherwise." OIG investigation found that, contrary to Attkisson's repeated assertions that her employer had sent someone to examine her computer, who had found evidence of intrusions and compromises.[not in citation given] "CBS News told the OIG that they did not conduct any analysis on her personal computer."[37]

In February 2015, The Washington Examiner clarified that the OIG did not examine Attkisson's compromised CBS News computer,[37] the OIG only inspected Attkisson's personal devices.[38]

In March 2015, Attkisson and her family filed a suit against Holder, Patrick R. Donahoe and unnamed agents of the US Department of Justice, the US Postal Service and the United States in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia claiming to have been subject to illegal surveillance activities.[39][40]

Personal life[edit]

Attkisson has reached third degree black belt in taekwondo.[4] She is married and has a daughter.[41]


  1. ^ Gill, Kay (2007). Who, a Directory of Prominent People. Omnigraphics. ISBN 9780780808096. Retrieved December 4, 2012. 
  2. ^ Erik Wemple (April 22, 2015). "Sinclair Broadcast Group to launch Sunday show hosted by Sharyl Attkisson". The Washington Post (Nash Holdings LLC). Retrieved November 22, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Best Sellers: Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction". The New York Times]]. November 23, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2015. 
  4. ^ a b "Sharyl Attkisson, Investigative Correspondent". CBS. Archived from the original on November 21, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "21st Century Newsroom". University of Florida. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Sharyl Attkisson full biography". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 16, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2012. 
  7. ^ Hogan, Alfred. "Televising the Space Age: A descriptive chronology of CBS News special coverage of space exploration from 1957 to 2003" (PDF). University of Maryland. p. 260. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  8. ^ "TV Notes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 28, 1993. p. 42. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Sharyl Attkisson–About This Person". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  10. ^ a b c d e "Sharyl Attkisson profile". CBS News. Archived from the original on November 19, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  11. ^ "THE 22nd ANNUAL NEWS AND DOCUMENTARY EMMY AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNCED BY THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS AND SCIENCES" (PDF). NATIONAL ACADEMY OF TELEVISION ARTS AND SCIENCES. July 19, 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014. Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson 
  12. ^ "23rd Annua; News & Documentary Emmy Awards – With Prominent 9/11 Coverage". Archived from the original on November 23, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  13. ^ "Sharyl Attkisson Is Named Cbs News Capitol Hill Correspondent". CBS Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  14. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (November 8, 2006). "Election Coverage Still a Men's Club". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved June 29, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Video shows tarmac welcome, no snipers". Tampa Bay Times. March 25, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  16. ^ "7th Annual Business & Financial Emmy Awards – Nominations". Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  17. ^ "Full List of Nominations for the 2010 News and Documentary Emmy Awards: Television Industry news, TV ratings, analysis, celebrity event photos". TVWeek. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  18. ^ Attkisson 2011 Emmy nomination,; accessed October 28, 2014.
  19. ^ Offit, Paul (2011). Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All. ISBN 0465023568. 
  20. ^ Kata, Anna (28 May 2012). "Anti-vaccine activists, Web 2.0, and the postmodern paradigm – An overview of tactics and tropes used online by the anti-vaccination movement". Vaccine 30 (25): 3778–3779. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.11.112. 
  21. ^ "Loesch, Attkisson to receive AIM awards". Politico. February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2012. 
  22. ^ "2012 National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners". Radio Television Digital News Association. Retrieved June 13, 2012. 
  23. ^ "33rd Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards nominations". Retrieved August 30, 2012. 
  24. ^ Macneal, Caitlin (March 10, 2014). "CBS Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson Resigns From Network". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  25. ^ a b Byers, Dylan (March 10, 2014). "Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS News". Politico. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  26. ^ Template:CCitation
  27. ^ "Astroturf and manipulation of media messages". TEDx. February 6, 2015. Retrieved December 4, 2015. 
  28. ^ Mirkinson, Jack (May 21, 2013). "CBS' Sharyl Attkisson: My Computers Were Compromised, 'Could Be Some Relationship' To DOJ Scandals". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  29. ^ "CBS News Confirms Sharyl Attkisson's Computer Breached". The Huffington Post. June 14, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  30. ^ "Sharyl Attkisson's Computer Not Compromised, DOJ Says". The Huffington Post. May 22, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  31. ^ Smith, Kyle; Golding, Bruce (October 27, 2014), "Ex-CBS reporter: Government agency bugged my computer", New York Post, retrieved October 28, 2014 
  32. ^ Byers, Dylan (October 31, 2014). "Sharyl Attkisson releases video of apparent computer hack". Politico. Retrieved November 1, 2014. 
  33. ^ HANNAH GROCH-BEGLEY; JOE STRUPP (October 31, 2014). "Computer Security Experts: Attkisson Video Of Purported "Hacking" Likely Just A Stuck Backspace Key". Media Matters. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  34. ^ Fisher, Max (October 31, 2014). "The video of Sharyl Attkisson getting "hacked" actually just shows a stuck delete key". Vox. Retrieved November 2, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Why is Sharyl Attkisson testifying at Loretta Lynch's confirmation hearing?". Washington Post. 
  36. ^ "DOJ OIG Report – Sharyl Attkisson". 
  37. ^ a b Media Matters report on Attkisson claims,; Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  38. ^ T. Becket Adams (February 3, 2015). "Sharyl Attkisson: What was left out of reports on hacking". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 22 November 2015. The IG did not rule out computer intrusions. It did not substantiate but neither did it rule out. 
  39. ^ Attkisson sues government over computer intrusions, Washington Post; Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  40. ^ Editorial Opinion re Attkisson, Washington Post; Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  41. ^ "Attkisson biography". Retrieved March 11, 2014. 

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