A New Front in the Administration’s War on Journalism?

The two most honest and independent reporters in Washington are, I think, Jake Tapper, now of CNN, and CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson. I’m probably forgetting someone, but those are the two that come to mind. Ms. Attkisson reported on Fast and Furious more fearlessly and effectively than any other reporter. Today she disclosed that her personal and work computers have been “compromised.” The circumstances are being investigated:

“I can confirm that an intrusion of my computers has been under some investigation on my end for some months but I’m not prepared to make an allegation against a specific entity today as I’ve been patient and methodical about this matter,” Attkisson told POLITICO on Tuesday. “I need to check with my attorney and CBS to get their recommendations on info we make public.”

In an earlier interview with WPHT Philadelphia, Attkisson said that though she did not know the full details of the intrustion, “there could be some relationship between these things and what’s happened to James [Rosen],” the Fox News reporter who became the subject of a Justice Dept. investigation after reporting on CIA intelligence about North Korea in 2009. …

Attkisson told WPHT that irregular activity on her computer was first identified in Feb. 2011, when she was reporting on the Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal and on the Obama administration’s green energy spending, which she said “the administration was very sensitive about.” Attkisson has also been a persistent investigator of the events surrounding last year’s attack in Benghazi, and its aftermath.

Was the administration angry at Attkisson for failing to keep Fast and Furious secret? Recall this post from October 2011:

Laura 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.

There is, of course, a fundamental difference between Ms. Attkisson’s circumstances and those of James Rosen. In Rosen’s case, the administration could argue that it was investigating a leak that was criminal under the Espionage Act because it threatened national security. I don’t see how any similar claim could be made in regard to Fast and Furious, even if Ms. Attkisson’s reporting was based to some degree on leaks, which I do not now recall.

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