Conservative blogs, including The Daily Caller, are claiming that a CBS News executive with family ties to the Obama administration is targeting a reporter for aggressively covering an alleged coverup concerning the 2012 terror attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
Politico quoted sources at CBS News, claiming that “executives see Attkisson [as] wading dangerously close to advocacy on the [Benghazi] issue.” Politico characterized Attkisson as the “mainstream media's most persistent investigator of the events surrounding” the attack, and said she is considering leaving CBS News when her contract expires.
The president of CBS News is David Rhodes, brother of President Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes. Some conservatives believe that Ben Rhodes was instrumental in a cover-up in in the weeks after the attack, regarding what the Obama Administration knew during and after the assault which left U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three others dead, and 10 injured.
There is no direct evidence that David Rhodes has been involved in any efforts to silence Attkisson, and the conservative criticisms seem to be based solely on Rhodes familial relationship with his brother.
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Attkisson's reporting has centered on about 100 emails sent between the White House, the State Department, the CIA, and the FBI over two days following the attacks. The emails reveal efforts to develop talking points that were subsequently used by United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice on political talk shows. It is unclear how the emails support the idea of a cover-up.
The White House has characterized the editing of the talking points as “normal,” and insists that “political” people were not involved.