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October 30, 2014

Damning: CBS Buried Its Own Scoop to Help Obama Win the 2012 Election, And Isn't Answering Questions About It

Howard Kurtz reported a scoop from Sharyl Attkisson's book Stonewalled:

Perhaps the most eye-opening tale involves CBSís ď60 Minutes,Ē Benghazi and the president. During the second presidential debate in 2012, Obama challenged Mitt Romney by insisting he had labeled the assault in Libya a terrorist attack the very next day. This became a huge controversy, especially since CNNís Candy Crowley had sided with the president.

Turns out that Steve Kroft had conducted a ď60 MinutesĒ interview with Obama the day after the attack, portions of which had never aired. When Attkisson did a story on the flap, her CBS bosses instructed her to use a particular script and a particular sound bite that seemed to back up the presidentís version.

She was stunned when a CBS colleague later read her another exchange from the interview:

KROFT: Mr. President, this morning you went out of your way to avoid the use of the word terrorism in connection with the Libya attack.

OBAMA: Right.

The correspondent then asked point-blank:

KROFT: Do you believe that this was a terrorist attack?

OBAMA: Well, itís too early to know exactly how this came about, what group was involved, but obviously it was an attack on Americans.

Attkisson writes, ďI couldnít get past the fact that upper-level journalists at CBS had been a party to misleading the public.Ē

Under pressure from Attkisson and others, the network posted the exchange on its website the Sunday night before the election, but it got lost in the final hours of the campaign. She says CBS News President David Rhodes promised her there would be an internal investigation, but she never heard another word about it.

John Sexton has some questions for CBS --though they're currently refusing any comment at all on anything to do with Sheryl Attkisson.

Nevertheless, he wrote an email to CBS:

I sent 60 Minutes an inquiry about all of this today. My email recounts the story above and ends with these questions:

Why didnít CBS News release the clip the moment it became a significant part of a major news story, i.e. the Presidentís big moment in the critical 2nd debate?

Why was Sharyl Attkisson told to use another clip that backed up the President and not the one that cast doubt on his claim? Who made the decision?

Why did 60 Minutes finally release the clip quietly just hours before the election, weeks after it was newsworthy?

What happened to the investigation CBS News President David Rhodes promised? Was it started? Completed? What did it find?

Finally, if someone were to say this represented a clear case of intentional bias by 60 Minutes/CBS News--and an important one given that it took place at a critical moment in the election cycle--what would be your response?

Sexton has a few more tidbits: Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Susan Schmidt says of the media's relationship to Obama:

"With some exceptions, people don't seem to be digging as hard as they have in other administrations," Schmidt tells the Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove. She adds, "Obama came into office saying he was going to make his administration the most accessible and transparent in history; in fact, the opposite has happened."

He also collects up more information about the hacking of Sharyl Attkisson's computers.

Eric Wemple wrote to the one named cybersecurity expert who investigated Attkisson's hacking. (Two others were identified with psuedonyms.)

Erik Wemple at the Post contacted Don Allison to confirm and possibly expand on the information in Attkisson's book about the hacking. Today he received a response from Korelogic's President Bob Austin. Austin explained that his company signed a non-disclosure agreement (apparently this is standard) which prevents the company from speaking about the work they did for their client. Austin would not even confirm who he was working for when he signed the agreement, though Wemple suspects it was CBS News.

Three experts examined Attkisson's computer, one on her behalf and two on behalf of CBS News. All three found definite evidence of hacking and all three suspected, for various reasons, the hacker was working for the U.S. government. The fact that Attkisson was doggedly pursuing this administration's "phony scandals" while all of this was happening to her computer raises the distinct possibility it was politically motivated. It's a possibility that seems worthy of congressional investigation.

It's a possibility that seems worthy of a CBS Investigation, too, but Good Luck With That.


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posted by Ace at 06:18 PM

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