Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson, speaking at Hillsdale College’s Center for Constructive Alternatives, weighed in on President Obama’s decision to sit down to an interview with YouTube star GloZell.
Attkisson spoke on the topic of “Investigative Journalism and the Obama Administration” and was asked during the Q & A about Obama’s GloZell interview. “The president did an interview with an online blogger — a young woman with bright green lipstick,” an audience member said. “It was heralded by some as a new era of journalism. What do you think this administration’s target audiences are for their release of information?” he asked.
Attkisson said she doesn’t have a problem with Obama “doing that sort of thing.” But she said the administration has “perfected the idea of going around neutral news reporters who would ask critical questions.”
“My only problem would be if they do that instead of also being answerable to those who could ask the tough and probing and challenging questions and hold them accountable on behalf of the public,” she said. “And I think sometimes they do more of that social media and fun stuff and entertainment and celebrity stuff.”
She noted that the “fun stuff” does reach a certain audience “because that’s how some people get their news,” but said that the Obama administration is not asked critical questions on controversial topics during these interviews, which are not conducted by “informed interviewers.” Attkisson said, “Doing that instead of doing more of the other kind I see as a problem because I’m a traditional journalist. But I don’t have a problem with them doing that if they want to do it — in addition to.”
You can watch Attkisson’s speech in its entirety below: