Sharyl Attkisson: Press freedom under Obama Administration will be seen as a 'historic time of restrictions'

In March, veteran investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson made headlines when she announced her resignation from CBS News. Attikisson was known for her relentless coverage of the terror attacks in Benghazi and the Fast and Furious scandal even when her colleagues seemed to shy away from the stories.

In various interviews since her resignation, Attkisson has implied that she was indirectly discouraged her from doing investigative reporting critical of the Obama administration. On radio this morning, Attkisson joined Glenn to discuss her forthcoming book Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington and the state of journalism in the United States.

“I have to tell you I have not been this excited to talk to somebody on the air in I don't know how long,” Glenn said. “I think Sharyl Attkisson will go down in the history books as a leader in this time period, somebody who stood against all odds stood. And if it wasn't for technology, she would be discredited and she would be out and nobody would ever know the truth. But because of technology, she had the courage to leave CBS News after fighting on the inside for a long time and then start her own website and really go out and be on her own so she doesn't have to answer to anybody.”

To begin, Glenn asked Attkisson whether or not she believes journalism even exists anymore. She explained that she recently returned from a “top line investigative conference” at Berkeley with some of the most courageous reporters in the business, and the consensus was that press freedom has definitely changed in the United States.

“It's amazing because there's some amazing reporters in print and television who attended,” Attkisson explained. “These are reporters that work for or used to work for the New York Times, the LA Times, a lot of these publications, and they all see something as they say fundamentally changed in society with the restrictions on the press freedoms as well as civil liberties being given up pretty much voluntarily.”

Glenn praised Attkisson for her decision to leave CBS News and pursue her own reporting without the oversight of a gatekeeper. To that point, Attkisson stressed that she found herself in a unique position that her fellow journalists might not have the luxury of experiencing.

“I don't have to work. I've put myself in a position where the kids' college is paid for, and I do sympathize with other journalists that can't stand up for some of things that they want t because they have bills to pay and families to raise. I get that,” she said. “I'm in a good position now, so I don't see a downside in anything I do. I don't see myself in the future beholden to a single master and which stories don't get to see the light of day which I think is a moral issue today.”

On Wednesday’s season finale, For the Record investigates the events that led to the September 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya that killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Additionally, Judicial Watch just released email communications that show then-White House deputy strategic communications adviser Ben Rhodes worked to craft the narrative that a You Tube video sparked a demonstration that then turned violent in order to protect the President in the lead up to the 2012 election. Attkisson is one of the reporters who really led the charge on this investigation and refused to give up on story, and Glenn asked her how she feels about the new information coming out.

“For a couple weeks, I didn't cover this story. I wasn't originally assigned, and I was brought in. CBS asked me to look into it. I think it was about three weeks in when it looked like there was some more information to uncover,” she said. “And just the stonewalling of basic information that should be publicly available such as the commander-in-chief's action on a night when basically people were at war with Americans and that we were under threat in many places in the region. We don't even know what the commander-in-chief did that night. We're not allowed to do know and I think that's pretty shocking.”

As Attkisson explained, she views the Administration’s stonewalling as a relatively effective strategy because it allowed President Obama to make it through election season unscathed. Furthermore, the more time that passes after an event, the more likely it is that the news media and the American people lose interest.

“I think in part what I see as a strategy has been somewhat effective. They just needed to get through the election without as much of this coming out as possible,” Attkisson said. “And as it has dribbled out in the year and a half since, we're getting sort of, you know -- I've seen this before. And, you know, different administrations and different politicians. You get a little bit numb. Little revelations come out at a time. If all that we know today had come out the week after Benghazi, it would have really been disastrous, I think.”

Ultimately, Attkisson believes the limitations to the press under this Administration are truly historic, and that is an unfortunate trend.

“I can tell you from the standpoint of press freedoms and reporting, I think this will be seen as a historic time of restrictions,” she concluded, “and a time in which we not just lost but voluntarily relinquished a lot of our duty and authority as watchdogs of the government.”

To learn more about the events that led to the September 11, 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, don’t miss For The Record: Zero Footprint Wednesday at 8pm ET only on TheBlaze. Not a subscriber? Start your 14-day free trial HERE.

On the radio program this week, Glenn Beck and Pat Gray discussed a series of recent polls that suggest presidential nominee Joe Biden's expected lead may be slipping with traditionally Democratic voters.

A new poll conducted by the Jewish Electorate Institute shows that two-thirds of Jewish voters still plan to vote for the Biden-Harris ticket in November. However, President Donald Trump's support within the Jewish community is also the highest among any Republican candidate in recent history.

In more bad news for Biden, a CNN poll (yes, CNN) released last month showed growing support for President Trump among black voters in swing states. Meanwhile, his support among Latino voters remains at roughly 33%.

"I don't think it's going to go the way the Democrats hope that it will," Glenn said of the election. "If you look at the groups that the Democrats have carefully fostered ... that's falling apart. If Donald Trump can grow that by 5%, and hurt the Democrats by 5% ... that alone could swing the election."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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We're being set up for a civil war. The Left is grooming us for an Eastern European-style revolution this election, and they're not even trying to hide it any more. The playbook for Mainstreet USA is the exact same that has been used in places like Ukraine, initiated by the same people in order to completely upend the American system.

On his Wednesday night special this week, Glenn Beck takes us through a tale of three chalkboards that will connect the dots: the Obama admin in Ukraine, the State Department's relationship with George Soros, Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots, the Great Reset, public school indoctrination, mail-in voting. It all points to something dangerous happening in November if we don't act now.

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The left has already determined that the wildfires raging across the West Coast were definitely caused by climate change and Big Tech is determined to silence anyone who dares suggest otherwise. Facebook even announced a sweeping policy on Saturday to remove posts that claim the fires were caused by arson from far-left activists.

But on his radio program Wednesday, Glenn Beck revealed multiple arrest records for suspected arsonists in California, Oregon, and Washington — and several of those charged and arrested were also instigators in Black Lives Matter rallies, violent protests, and Antifa riots. He also called out the "news gods" in Big Tech, daring them to try to censor his video.

"I asked my staff, to see if there was any evidence [of arson] on the fires. And I don't mean evidence from Twitter. I mean evidence. Is there anybody who has been arrested for arson?" Glenn said. "Well, here they are. And YouTube and Facebook, go ahead. I want you to demonetize this clip. I want you to somehow or another say that we're lying. I want you to throttle this. Go ahead. Because then you're going to have to explain what we got wrong. And I happen to have all the documents right here. So my attorney is really ready for that throttling or demonetization. You say you're a protector of the truth? Great, here it is."

Glenn read off the first 10 arrest records, which combined allege the destruction of more than 120,000 acres and 700 structures, as well as tens of thousands of people evacuated from their homes.

"You want to tell us, PolitiFact, how you came to the conclusion ... that there was no arson in these fires?" Glenn asked. "Can you tell me how you came to that conclusion? Because your fact-check seems to be entirely false."

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Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders joined Glenn Beck on this week's podcast to share her unique perspective as a trusted adviser and confidante to President Donald Trump for two and a half years, which she also details in her new book, "Speaking for Myself: Faith, Freedom, and the Fight of Our Lives Inside the Trump White House."

Sarah described the unprecedented levels of corruption she saw firsthand during the Russia probe and shocking lengths to which Democratic leaders and the mainstream media would go to "take the president down."

Sarah said she often saw sides of Donald Trump that the media never covered. Recently, she went on the record denying the Atlantic's claims that the president mocked our military during a 2018 trip to France. She was on that trip, she told Glenn, and her account of what really happened paints a very different picture.

"The people who are making this outrageous charge are such cowards for doing so in an anonymous way. If you really believed this, and believed it was wrong, one, why did it take you so long? And, two, put your name on it the way the rest of us have," Sarah said.

"He didn't say those things. Not only was I there that day, Glenn, I spent two and a half years traveling all over the world with the president, watching him interact with men and women of our armed forces almost every single day during that two-and-a-half year period," she added.

"This is a person who loves America and loves the people who allow the rest of us to live in America, free, and have prosperity. And I got to see that a lot. I think it is shameful that people are trying to distort who he is and what he has done, particularly when it comes to the men and women in the military."

Watch a clip from the full interview with Sarah Huckabee Sanders below:

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