Former CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson appeared on WPHT radio and reacted to the story Thursday that White House spokesman Jay Carney gets media questions ahead of his daily briefings. That story has since been retracted by the reporter who first report it, Catherine Anaya.
Attkisson says that she has participated in such briefings during her career. While she says that it is not the case that reporters are always coordinating their questions with the White House, it does happen more often than most people think.
“I think people would be surprised at the level of cooperation reporters have in general with politicians and not just this administration,” Attkisson said.
“It’s almost as if, I don’t know, we’re all in this same sort of club and we’re all supposed to protect each other a little bit,” she said of the media-politico relationship. Attkisson recalled the reaction after she said that White House officials had “screamed and cussed” at her for her Fast and Furious reporting. She said many in the media acted like she shouldn’t have said that in public. “It was somehow a private family squabble more than anything the public should know about. And I completely disagree. This was a White House spokesman talking to me, a reporter, and it couldn’t be a more public venue in my opinion, or something that the public had a right to know about,” Attkisson said.
“But there is a lot of this chummy relationship, and not just under the Obama administration. There’s been that under all of them,” she said. Attikisson said that not all reporters “partner” with the politicians they cover, but that many do.
Listen to Attkisson’s entire segment here.
Since leaving CBS, Attkisson has launched her own reporting website.