“Stonewalled”: A Must Read

Ben Bradlee, the iconic editor of the Washington Post recently died. I listened to an interview with Bob Woodward who detailed Bradlee’s support for Woodward and Carl Bernstein as they pursued the Watergate story that resulted in the downfall of the Nixon administration. I was struck by Woodward’s recounting that whatever the outcome, Bradley taught Woodward to pursue the story no matter where it might lead. This is the epitome of good investigative journalism. Sharyl Attkisson spent over two decades as an investigative reporter for CBS News. A self styled “agnostic” politically, she covered investigative reports that crossed political lines during her tenure at CBS. She recently penned her memoirs in her new book, Stonewalled. It is one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. In her book, Attkisson details the lengths to which the Obama administration went to interfere with her stories on Benghazi, the ACA and other scandals within the administration. Worse, it details the change in journalism where a majority of news outlets have given the Obama administration a pass instead of doing their job in holding the administration responsible. What is most disturbing about her book, however, is that it confirms what I have long argued: we do not have a so-called representative democracy; in fact, we have an oligarchy, rule by the few and powerful. Ironically, the Wall Street protesters, as I have said before, had it at least half right in that they recognized the evils of big business. Putting aside the violence and destruction of property which quickly killed their message, their protest was incomplete in that it failed to include the evils of big government as well. Liberals are quick to point to big business for the evils in our country while conservatives point to big government as the real devil. For once, both sides are correct though each fails to understand or admit that both institutions aid and abet the other. Time magazine ran a series of articles detailing the revolving door between those working on Wall Street and the federal government. Wall street pours millions of dollars into the coffers of both political parties to maintain a status quo characterized by cronyism of the worst kind. The crowning blow, however, is the complacency of the Fourth Estate which is supposed to exist to protect the public by revealing the facts concerning these institutions but which now has been subsumed by their own bias into the mix. So who is left out? The public. When the Obama administration is guilty of using technology to pry into the lives of virtually every American, threaten journalists and their sources with prosecution, placing some on terrorist watch lists, even hacking their computers and other intimidating tactics, it should be the press that takes them to task. Unfortunately, as Attkisson details, this is no longer the case. It portends a chilling possible future where “1984 ” may no longer be fiction. I urge you to read Attkisson’s book. You owe it to yourselves and to the future of your children to do so. And let us hope that somewhere, a new Ben Bradlee will emerge.

 

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