Is Sharyl Attkisson Hiding Her Relationship With The Daily Signal?

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After blaming CBS News' supposed political bias for her decision to leave the network, Sharyl Attkisson represented her recent affiliation with a conservative online blog as little more than a freelancer, a description seemingly at odds with the blog's explicit designation of Attkisson as a contributor.

Atkisson left CBS News in March, reportedly because of a perceived political bias at the network, and in June began work for the conservative Heritage Foundation's online news outlet, The Daily Signal. On The Daily Signal's authors page, Attkisson is currently listed as a "Senior Independent Contributor."

Yet Attkisson appeared to downplay her relationship with The Daily Signal during a Q&A interview with CSPAN on June 22. She presented her position as akin to that of a freelancer, telling host Brian Lamb "I don't have an ongoing obligation" with the outlet after they purchased one particular story:

LAMB: Why did you accept work for the Heritage Foundation? Which owns The Daily Signal?

ATTKISSON: They offered an opportunity -- they were interested, as a number of outlets have approached me - in my ideas for underserved or underreported stories of importance, without editorial interference in the sense it was put through an editorial process, but it wasn't going to be shaped and swayed into an unnatural direction.

[...]

LAMB:  Do you have an ongoing relationship with them?

ATTKISSON: I don't have any ongoing obligation to them, no.

LAMB: So did they pay you just to do this series?

ATTKISSON: Well, yes, in essence. I don't want to, you know -- In essence, it seems a little proprietary. But yes, in essence, they bought a story, a particular story. There's no ongoing obligation on either of our part to do anything else.

Attkisson is well-known for her shoddy reporting, both during her time at CBS News and afterward. She previously supported CBS' disastrous Benghazi reporting, for which the network ultimately had to apologize and retract, and CBS executives reportedly saw her as "wading dangerously close to advocacy on the issue." Attkisson also released an error-ridden report on clean energy, and relied on partial information from House Republicans in a botched story on the Affordable Care Act.

Following her departure from the network, Attkisson attempted to paint herself has a victim of media bias, floating baseless conspiracy theories suggesting Media Matters had been paid to attack her work. She was unwilling to provide specifics, but claimed there was a "political aspect" to her troubles at CBS and that her supervisors gave in to "well organized" outside campaigns that complained about coverage.

Posted In
Ethics
Network/Outlet
CSPAN, The Daily Signal
Person
Sharyl Attkisson
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