Attkisson in 2014
|Occupation||Writer, journalist, television correspondent|
|Spouse(s)||James Attkisson (m. 1984)|
She is a five-time Emmy Award winner, and an RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award recipient. She was formerly an investigative correspondent in the Washington bureau for CBS News and a substitute anchor for the CBS Evening News.
Attkisson resigned from CBS News on March 10, 2014, after 21 years with the network. She later wrote the book Stonewalled, in which she alleged that CBS News failed to give sufficient coverage of Obama controversies, such as the 2012 Benghazi attack. Attkisson has received criticism for publishing stories suggesting a possible link between vaccines and autism, a theory that has been rejected by the scientific community.
Attkisson was born in St. Petersburg, Florida and grew up in Sarasota, Florida, where she attended Wilkinson Elementary and Riverview High School. Her father was a lawyer, but she spent most of her life with her stepfather, an orthopedic surgeon. Her family had seven children. Attkisson attended the University of Florida, and although she initially considered law and architecture, her love of writing led her to major in journalism, graduating in 1982 with a degree in broadcast journalism from the College of Journalism and Communications.
Attkisson began her broadcast journalism career in 1982 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 1982–1985, WBNS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio from 1985–86, and WTVT in Tampa, Florida (1986–1990).
From 1990 to 1993, Attkisson was an anchor for CNN, and also served as a key anchor for CBS covering space exploration in 1993. Attkisson left CNN in 1993, moving to CBS, where she anchored the television news broadcast CBS News Up to the Minute until January 1995, then became an investigative correspondent based in Washington, D.C.
She served on the University of Florida's Journalism College Advisory Board (1993–1997) and was its chair in 1996. The University gave her an Outstanding Achievement Award in 1997. From 1996 to 2001, Attkisson hosted the PBS health-news magazine HealthWeek.
Attkisson received an Investigative Reporters and Editors (I.R.E.) Finalist award for Dangerous Drugs in 2000. In 2001, Attkisson received an Investigative Emmy Award nomination for Firestone Tire Fiasco from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In 2002, she co-authored the 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. Attkisson was part of the CBS News team that received RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2005 for Overall Excellence.
In 2006, Attkisson served as Capitol Hill correspondent for CBS, one of a small number of female anchors covering the 2006 midterms. Attkisson was part of the CBS News team that received RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2008 for Overall Excellence.
In 2008, Attkisson reported that a claim by Hillary Clinton to have dodged sniper fire in Bosnia was unfounded: Clinton's trip to Bosnia was risky, Attkisson said, but no real bullets were dodged. Attkisson was on the trip with Clinton. The day after Attkisson's report on the CBS Evening News, Clinton admitted there was no sniper fire and said she "misspoke".
In 2010 Attkisson 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. 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.
In 2012, CBS News accepted an Investigative Reporting Award given to Attkisson's reporting on ATF's Fast and Furious gunwalker controversy from Accuracy in Media, a conservative news media watchdog group. 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. In July 2012, Attkisson's Gunwalker: Fast and Furious reporting received an Emmy Award.
The following year, Exposing the Business of Congress, which examined the impact on lobbyists on the United States Congress, was awarded an Emmy for investigative journalism in a newscast, while her work on Green Energy Going Red and Libya: Dying for Security led to nominations. Exposing the Business of Congress was also nominated for a 2013 Gerald Loeb Award in the broadcast category.
On March 10, 2014, Attkisson resigned from CBS News in what she stated was an "amicable" parting. 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 colleagues within the network saw her reporting as agenda-driven and doubted her impartiality. Attkisson has said such reports about "liberal bias" being the reason for her leaving CBS News are not based on fact. Erik Wemple, in his Washington Post blog, said CBS News had greater resources to deal with potential litigation than Attkisson as an individual and commented "if her nearly aired stories are as bulletproof as she suggests, where’s the risk?" He quoted Sonya McNair, a spokesman for CBS News, who had told him the operation "maintains the highest journalistic standards in what it chooses to put on the air. Those standards are applied without fear or favor."
Attkisson's book Stonewalled: One Reporter's Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington was published by Harper later in 2014 and became a New York Times best seller. In this work, she accuses CBS of protecting the Obama administration by not giving enough coverage to such stories as the 2012 Benghazi attack and slow initial enrollments under Obamacare.
Her second book, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote, was published by HarperCollins in summer 2017. It also became a New York Times best seller.
In 2017, Attkisson created a media bias chart. According to PolitiFact, this chart "labels anything not overtly conservative as 'left'". The news outlets with a purported left bias include the Associated Press, Reuters, the American television networks ABC, NBC/CNBC, and CBS, The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, NPR, Politico, and USA Today. BuzzFeed News reported in August 2018 that Attkisson indicated on her website that she compiled the "subjective" chart "from various sources and your feedback". She linked "various sources" to a study from the Pew Research Center, a Washington think tank that BuzzFeed said "measures audience bias, not the alleged bias of an outlet and a college library's website that cites another college library's project describing media outlets." Attkisson's chart includes such websites as InfoWars (to which Attkisson is said to link from her own site).
In her reporting, Attkisson has published stories linking vaccines with autism; this contradicts the scientific community who reject such a link. Seth Mnookin, Professor of Science Writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, described Attkisson as "one of the least responsible mainstream journalists covering vaccines and autism. Again and again, she’s parroted anti-vaccine rhetoric long past the point that it’s been decisively disproved."
Anna Kata, an analyst at McMaster University, has accused Attkisson of using problematic rhetorical tactics to "imply that because there is no conclusive answer to certain problems, vaccines remain a plausible culprit."[verification needed] Attkisson has said that she favors vaccinating children, but claims that research suggests that a small number of children have immune deficiencies that might make their brains vulnerable to vaccines.
According to Snopes, in a January 2019 episode of her television show Full Measure, Attkisson mischaracterized statements made in 2007 by a medical expert, Andrew Zimmerman, regarding a hypothetical relationship between vaccines and autism. Snopes said that Attkisson falsely claimed that the Omnibus Autism Proceeding (OAP), which refuted claims of a causal link between vaccines and autism, was based primarily on Zimmerman's testimony, and that Zimmerman's nuanced views on the subject were kept hidden from the public by the federal government until 2018. On the program, prominent anti-vaccination activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. called this "one of the most consequential frauds, arguably in human history." In fact, the OAP's verdict that there is no causal link between vaccines and autism was based on testimony by nine expert witnesses, and the views that Attkisson said were kept secret had already been made public in 2006 and were noted in the OAP. David Gorski was sharply critical of the segment, calling it a "propaganda piece" and a "conspiracy theory". Attkisson denied mischaracterizing Zimmerman's statements in her report.
Computer hacking claims
In May 2013, while still employed by CBS, Attkisson alleged that her personal and work computers had been "compromised" for more than two years. CBS News stated that it had investigated her work computer and found evidence of multiple unauthorized accesses by a third party in late 2012. The U.S. Department of Justice denied any involvement. In her 2014 book, she wrote that a forensic examination revealed 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.
In late January 2015, Attkisson appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee during a confirmation hearing for Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. As part of her appearance in front of that committee, a report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was released 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" and the deletion seen in Attkisson's video "appeared to be caused by the backspace key being stuck, rather than a remote intrusion". In February 2015, The Washington Examiner clarified that the OIG did not examine the CBS News computer that Attkisson claimed was compromised, but only inspected Attkisson's personal devices.
In March 2015, Attkisson and her family filed suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against Holder, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, and unnamed agents of the US Department of Justice, the US Postal Service and the United States, claiming to have been subject to illegal surveillance activities. The government then removed her case to a D.C. federal court, and the case was eventually transferred to a federal court in Virginia. In 2017, federal judge Leonie Brinkema dismissed Attkisson's case, finding that Attkisson's lawsuit failed to allege sufficient facts to make a plausible claim that either defendant personally engaged in the alleged surveillance".
Attkisson appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in 2019, which affirmed the lower court's dismissal of the case. Two of the three judges on the panel agreed dismissal was justified because plaintiffs failed to name specific agents being accused of surveillance, and that they "failed to act diligently in pursuing that discovery", citing "significant periods of inactivity". Judge James Wynn Jr. wrote a dissenting opinion claiming that delays were not the fault of plaintiffs, but due to Justice Department lawyers deliberately using tactics to delay the process and "run out the clock" before Attkisson's lawyers could find those being accused. He said "Attkisson never got a meaningful opportunity to pursue her claims", claims which he found "plausible".
- Grove, Lloyd (November 4, 2014). "Sharyl Attkisson: 'I Don't Care What People Think' About My Reporting". The Daily Beast.
- Peterson, Nolan (March 13, 2014). "Return to her roots". Siesta Key Observer. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
- Florida, Marriages, 1970 - 1999, Certificate 010953, Volume 5540
- "Healthweek HT". Library of Congress. Retrieved May 27, 2019.
- 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.
- "NYT Best Seller List". The New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
- Kata, Anna (May 28, 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. PMID 22172504.
- Mnookin, Seth (March 31, 2011). "More embarrassing anti-vaccine reporting from CBS News's Sharyl Attkisson". PLOS blog. Public Library of Science. Archived from the original on January 27, 2019.
- Gettys, Travis (January 7, 2019). "Sinclair Broadcasting criticized for airing anti-vaccination "propaganda" by Obama-hating journalist". Salon. Raw Story. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
- Gold, Hadas (April 21, 2014). "Sharyl Attkisson suggests Media Matters was paid to target her". Politico.
- Attkisson, Sharyl. "Sharyl Attkisson Wikipedia Biography Page". Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- Peterson, Nolan. (March 13, 2014). "Return to her roots", Siesta Key Observer, Observer Media Group. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
- "Q&A with Sharyl Attkisson", (March 20, 2009). C-SPAN. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
- "21st Century Newsroom". University of Florida. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
- "UF alumna Sharyl Attkisson to speak at UF" (March 13, 2015). University of Florida News. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
- "Attkisson sues government over computer intrusions". Washington Post. Retrieved June 17, 2019.
- "Sharyl Attkisson full biography". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 16, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
- 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.
- "TV Notes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 28, 1993. p. 42. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
- Seikaly, Andrea (March 10, 2014). "CBS News Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson Resigns". Variety.
- "Sharyl Attkisson profile". CBS News. Archived from the original on November 19, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
- "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
- "23rd Annual; News & Documentary Emmy Awards – With Prominent 9/11 Coverage". Emmy online.org. Archived from the original on November 23, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
- "Sharyl Attkisson Is Named Cbs News Capitol Hill Correspondent". CBS Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- 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.
- "Video shows tarmac welcome, no snipers". Tampa Bay Times. March 25, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Healy, Patrick; Seelye, Katharine Q. (March 25, 2008). "Clinton says she "misspoke' about dodging sniper fire". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
- "Clinton say she "misspoke" about sniper fire". CNN. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
- "Full List of Nominations for the 2010 News and Documentary Emmy Awards: Television Industry news, TV ratings, analysis, celebrity event photos". TVWeek. Archived from the original on April 14, 2014. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
- Attkisson 2011 Emmy nomination Archived September 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, emmyonline.tv; accessed October 28, 2014.
- "Loesch, Attkisson to receive AIM awards". Politico. February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
- "2012 National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners". Radio Television Digital News Association. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
- "33rd Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards nominations" (PDF). Emmy Online. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
- "CBS Leads News and Documentary Emmy Award Winners", (October 1, 2013) Variety. Accessed June 23, 2019.
- "Nominees Announced for the 34th Annual News and Documentary Emmy Awards". Emmy Online. Retrieved June 24, 2019.
- "Gerald Loeb Award Finalists", Gerald Loeb Awards, Anderson School of Management.Retrieved July 2, 2019
- Macneal, Caitlin (March 10, 2014). "CBS Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson Resigns From Network". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- Byers, Dylan (March 10, 2014). "Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS News". Politico. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
- Attkisson, Sharyl (May 2, 2019). "How Media Narratives Became More Important Than Facts". The Epoch Times. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
the smear that was promulgated when I left CBS. It was often incorrectly reported that I told CBS management I was quitting due to liberal media bias. That false story turned out to be convenient for both political sides, and largely survives today. It simply wasn’t rooted in fact. And I don’t recall reporters even asking me whether it was true. Once a few articles reported that it was, others simply copied the claim and adopted it as if established fact, eventually without attribution. Now there would be no point in trying to clarify it. After all, Wikipedia says it’s true.
- Wemple, Erik (April 21, 2014). "Sharyl Attkisson's remarkable PR tour". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
- "Best Sellers: Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction". The New York Times. November 23, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
- Smith, Kyle (October 25, 2014). "Ex-CBS reporter's book reveals how liberal media protects Obama". New York Post. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- "New book: Sharyl Attkisson reveals the ghastly world of political smears, fake news". The Washington Times. July 4, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
- "Best Sellers: Hardcover-Nonfiction". The New York Times. October 15, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
- Jacobson, Louis (August 29, 2018). "No, 96% of Google stories on Trump aren't left-wing". Politifact. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
- Nashrulla, Tasneem; Warzel, Charlie (August 28, 2018). "Trump Might Regulate Google For Conservative Bias Based On A 'Not Scientific' Web Post". BuzzFeed News. Retrieved May 26, 2019.
- Salzberg, Steven (July 23, 2012). "Anti-Vaccine Movement Causes The Worst Whooping Cough Epidemic In 70 Year". Forbes. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
- Kasprak, Alex (January 21, 2019). "Did the Government Censor an Expert Witness Who Changed His View on Vaccines?". Snopes.com. Snopes. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- Gorski, David (January 9, 2019). "Sharyl Attkisson is back, and she's flogging a new-old antivaccine conspiracy theory". Respectful Insolence. Retrieved June 23, 2019.
- Attkisson, Sharyl (June 17, 2019). "Wikipedia's Pharma Industry Agenda Editors–at it again". sharylattkisson.com. Retrieved June 28, 2019.
- 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.
- "CBS News Confirms Sharyl Attkisson's Computer Breached". The Huffington Post. June 14, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- "Sharyl Attkisson's Computer Not Compromised, DOJ Says". The Huffington Post. May 22, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- Smith, Kyle; Golding, Bruce (October 27, 2014), "Ex-CBS reporter: Government agency bugged my computer", New York Post, retrieved October 28, 2014
- "Why is Sharyl Attkisson testifying at Loretta Lynch's confirmation hearing?". The Washington Post.
- "DOJ OIG Report – Sharyl Attkisson". Scribd.
- Hattem, Julian (January 29, 2015). "Watchdog: Attkisson wasn't hacked, had 'delete' key stuck". The Hill. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
- Fisher, Max (October 31, 2014). "The video of Sharyl Attkisson getting "hacked" actually just shows a stuck delete key". Vox. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
- T. Becket Adams (February 3, 2015). "Sharyl Attkisson: What was left out of reports on hacking". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
The IG did not rule out computer intrusions. It did not substantiate but neither did it rule out.
- "Attkisson sues government over computer intrusions". The Washington Post. May 1, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
- "Editorial Opinion re Attkisson" (PDF). The Washington Post. January 5, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
- "Attkisson v. Holder, 4th Cir. 2019" (PDF). United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
- "Judge Tosses Reporter's Claim of Obama-Era Wiretaps". courthousenews.com. November 3, 2017. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- Gerstein, Josh. "Judge faults feds for 'Kafkaesque' stance in journalist's surveillance suit". Politico. Retrieved June 9, 2019.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sharyl Attkisson.|