Sharyl Attkisson Blows Bush-Era Scandal Wide Open

A few months ago, investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson resigned from CBS News, citing her network’s alleged fear of crossing the Obama administration. Today Attkisson reappeared on The Daily Signal, a news website bankrolled by The Heritage Foundation—a powerful conservative think tank—with a story about a government-funded research trial that may have harmed premature infants...during the George W. Bush administration.

The government-backed study is called SUPPORT, which stands for "Surfactant, Positive Airway Pressure, and Pulse Oximetry Randomized Trial." The experiment was conducted at 23 academic institutions from 2005 through 2009 under the National Institutes of Health, part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

That link indicates the study’s research period ended in February 2009—less than a month after Barack Obama was sworn into office. Yet Attkisson and The Daily Signal try to paint her story as one suppressed by mainstream media outlets such as CBS News, and go on to argue that this alleged suppression is a phenomenon unique to Obama’s presidency. In an accompanying interview with The Daily Signal—titled “Exclusive: Sharyl Attkisson on Journalism’s Very Dangerous Trend”—Attkisson says:

The Daily Signal promised to be a good outlet for an under-served story—in this case, the one about the baby oxygen trials—in a way that the story could naturally tell itself. And in a fearless way because there are people who do want to shy away from these types of stories that are critical of government or powers that be. I think those are some of the most important stories that need to be told today.

By “people” Attkisson means “journalists who are so blindly in love with Obama that they back down from reporting negative stories about his administration.” The title of her upcoming memoir, which her interview promotes, is Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington. But the research trial in question wasn’t funded or performed in “Obama’s Washington”; it was funded and performed in the one controlled by his Republican predecessor.

Attkisson has still not explained which stories her former employer actively discouraged her from pursuing. If and when that happens, she might want to clarify how “Obama’s Washington” is responsible for a controversial study it didn’t carry out.