The story of CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson’s breached computers just took another sure step toward wrapping up Weirdest Media Story of 2013 honors.
First, in May, she says on a radio show that her computers had been compromised and says the intrusions could be related somehow to the U.S. government’s surveillance of Fox News reporter James Rosen..
Second, in June, CBS News confirmed the breaches and Attkisson declared on Fox News that she thinks she knows who did it — though she didn’t say any more.
Third, in August, she is selected by Politico for inclusion on some cheezy list of Beltway personalities, and she attributes the distinction to her computer breaches.
Fourth, days ago, she’s asked about the whole thing on C-SPAN. She answers that the investigation is “progressing” and credits “people” for tipping her off to the intrusions “as a result of the reporting I was doing on Benghazi.”
That the investigation was ongoing prompted a teensy bit of Twitter speculation about what was going on behind Attkisson’s elliptical statements:
@ErikWemple Pure supposition, but can’t imagine the investigation taking this long unless maybe they’re also working it as a big story.
— Bill Lamb (@zachvat) September 24, 2013
Or, perhaps, a smallish story. CBSNews.com has posted a piece by Attkisson addressing privacy intrusions in everyday American life, a bit of journalism that she kicks off with a self-reference: “With my own computer intrusions, revelations about the NSA collecting, monitoring and analyzing the phone records of tens of millions of Americans and the Justice Department subpoenaing phone records of Associated Press journalists, it got a lot of us thinking about the everyday ways in which our habits and movements are tracked, often with our knowledge and permission.”
The meat of the story consists of Attkisson’s commute, in which she documents the various ways in which the state and private entities gather information on the daily activities of a common citizen in 2013: Traffic cameras, E-ZPass, Google, etc.
In closing out the presentation, Attkisson says this: “On any given day, many of us are tracked or surveilled dozens of times. Of course, it’s one thing to have it done as part of a convenience with our explicit or tacit permission. It’s quite another to be subjected to an illegal or unauthorized intrusion of our privacy. Sharyl Attkisson, CBS News, Washington.”
Bolded text inserted to highlight more weirdness. Either:
1) Attkisson finished off this little discussion of common surveillance issues with a giant non sequitur; or
2) She is teeing up a huge project on unauthorized intrusions down the road, hopefully with her experience at its center.
Whichever way things go, we here at AttkissonHackWatch will stay on it.