Until now, some of the best reporting on Fast and Furious has come from Sharyl Attkisson of CBS News. As we noted yesterday, Attkisson told Laura Ingraham that her reporting has earned the White House’s anger:
Ingraham: So they were literally screaming at you?
Attkisson: Yes. Well the DOJ woman was just yelling at me. The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. [Laura: Who was the person? Who was the person at Justice screaming?] Eric Schultz. Oh, the person screaming was [DOJ spokeswoman] Tracy Schmaler, she was yelling not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House. …
[The White House and Justice Department] will tell you that I’m the only reporter–as they told me–that is not reasonable. They say the Washington Post is reasonable, the LA Times is reasonable, the New York Times is reasonable, I’m the only one who thinks this is a story, and they think I’m unfair and biased by pursuing it.
Everyone else was being “reasonable,” but Attkisson was violating the reporters’ code by not covering up for a Democratic president. Now it appears that Attkisson’s bosses at CBS may be forcing her to be “reasonable” like those other “news” outlets:
Today, I called CBS News in an attempt to interview Attkisson. I was told by CBS News senior vice president of communications Sonya McNair that Attkisson would be unavailable for interviews all week. When I asked why Attkisson would be unavailable, McNair would not say.
I’ve also heard from a producer at another media outlet that has previously booked Attkisson that they tried to book her since she made news with the Laura Ingraham interview yesterday. They were also told that she would be unavailable.
After our initial conversation earlier today, I called McNair back and left a message with her office. I also sent McNair an email asking whether Attkisson’s unavailability has anything to do with reporting that the White House and Justice Department were angry at her. I further asked McNair if the White House or Justice Department contacted CBS News about Attkisson since yesterday. McNair has not responded to my inquiries.
We live in a strange era, in which our dominant news organizations consider it their most important function to prevent certain news from reaching the eyes and ears of the public.
By the way, if you wondered about Eric Schultz, the White House spokesman who screamed and swore at Attkisson, his bio is here. He is a one-man rogues’ gallery:
Eric Schultz is headed to the White House communications shop after serving as Communications Director at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) for the 2010 cycle. At the White House, Schultz will directly handle press matters related to the U.S. Department of Justice and investigations held by the House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA).
Previously, Schultz handled press for Al Franken’s 2008 Senate campaign and was National Press Secretary for the 2008 presidential bid of Sen. John Edwards (D-NC).