How special interests are controlling ‘the message’

Here’s a fascinating talk by Sharyl Attkisson, the journalist who uncovered the Fast and Furious ATF scandal.  It’s particularly relevant in the current election cycle, where special interests are trying to persuade us that their candidate or party or point of view is worth our vote.  Highly recommended viewing.

Ms. Attkisson’s mainstream media career was derailed by political pressure on her employer, CBS, but she appears to be doing just fine on her own.  Kudos to her.



  1. So she uses an example of a study on the disparity between studies and Wikipedia to discredit Wikipedia. Then she claims that peer-reviewed studies can simply be bought.

    She also spins the Wikipedia story as funny and absurd, when in reality there's really good reasons for not letting people be a source on themselves, it might even fall under Original Research.

    She also casually implies that vaccines cause cancer.

    Another cause for concern is the way she presents the "epidemic we don't know about" as some sort of joke, when actually it's A) very difficult to identify an epidemic from the sort of data that a single person might have without doing a lot of dedicated research and B) completely possible to be suffering from various conditions without knowing about it because most people aren't trained to diagnose medical conditions. Whether or not this particular story checks out, her use of such techniques brings her intentions into question.

    Thinking about it, she seems to raise a lot of the warning flags that she warns us about. Not sure I'm willing to believe her to be honest.

  2. Point of order:

    David Codrea, and Mike Vanderbough were the original 'uncoverers' of F&F. They did the research and then took their findings to the press and subsequently congress.

    Credit where credit is due and suchlike…

  3. Peters comment about the heart drug that starts with L and has the side effect of weight gain is a perfect example of this. Somebody is getting paid to monitor any negative mentions. They then frighten / threaten the person to remove the negative comment. And since they have weight gain / health issues they will 99% of the time cave… Disgusting!

    An Aunt of mine is having drug interaction issues for her heart medicines. She had massive water retention issues.

    On the vaccine questions, I view the anti backers as being the more propaganda / Astro turfing side.

    Another anon

  4. Though she uses the denials of the vaccination/autism link as an example of astro-turfing, I see it the other way. The people who *do* believe there's a link are the ones engaging in all of the behaviors she characterizes as being astro-turfing tactics.

  5. @Dirk The ambiguity is why I called it out as implying. Whether intentional or not, what she said is dangerous.

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