CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson has received enough awards to decorate a vanity shelf at her abode. Emmy Awards and noms, mainly.
This week, she’s slated to receive a slightly more controversial distinction: Accuracy in Media (AIM) is scheduled to honor Attkisson at this week’s Conservative Political Action Conference. A press release from AIM reads:
For much of her 30 year career as a news anchor and reporter, Sharyl Attkisson has offered a clear example of what an investigative journalist should be doing. She has flown in a B-52 on a combat mission over Kosovo, shed light on TARP, dared to report on Operation Fast and Furious and has recently exposed dubious green energy loans from the Obama Administration. We are honored to present her with the Investigative Journalism Award.
The left-leaning Media Matters for America has a problem with this. It says that AIM is “a right-wing group with a long history of promoting anti-gay views and conspiracy theories. Attkisson — the first reporter from a mainstream news outlet to receive AIM’s annual award — has produced some notably bad journalism over the past year, particularly on the topics of clean energy and vaccines.”
Chill out, Media Matters: It’s just an award, right? This is a question of free speech here — if some group wants to give out an award to a journalist, what’s to stop them!
So long as the journo doesn’t, like, appear in person to accept the award and, perhaps, make some prepared remarks.
Uh-oh — that’s apparently what’s in store here.
Logan Churchwell, a spokesman for AIM, says that the award represents his group’s recognition that Attkisson is not “afraid to investigate and put out hard truths. One of the top reasons that AIM enjoys the work that Sharyl Attkisson does is that we don’t know where she stands on the political map.” Churchwell says that Attkisson has agreed to accept the award “in person” and will speak for eight to 10 minutes.
Attkisson, says Churchwell, has worked with AIM founder Reed Irvine in the past. The award that AIM is bestowing on Attkisson was given in the past to Kenneth Timmerman and Andrew Breitbart, among others.
The award carries a $1,000 prize, which Attkisson will donate to a charity headed by the family of slain border agent Brian Terry, whose death has been linked to Operation Fast and Furious.
Asked about its reporter accepting the AIM award, CBS responded: “CBS News journalists are regularly honored by a broad spectrum of organizations for their outstanding original reporting.”
Another AIM award will go to Dana Loesch, who last month cheered on U.S. Marines for peeing on the corpses of Taliban fighters killed in battle.