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Sharyl Attkisson (born January 26, 1961)[4] is an American author and host of Full Measure with Sharyl Attkisson on television stations operated by the conservative media company Sinclair Broadcast Group.[5] She was formerly an investigative correspondent in the Washington bureau for CBS News. She had also substituted as anchor for the CBS Evening News.

Sharyl Attkisson
Sharyl Attkisson at the Redneck Country Club 03.jpg
Attkisson at the Redneck Country Club music venue in Stafford, Texas in 2014
Sharyl Lynn Thompson

(1961-01-26) 26 January 1961 (age 58)
ResidenceLeesburg, Virginia
OccupationWriter, journalist, television correspondent
Spouse(s)James Howard Attkisson (m. 1984)
Childrendaughter (born ~1995)

She resigned from CBS News on March 10, 2014, after 21 years with the network. She subsequently authored the book Stonewalled, in which she alleged that CBS News failed to give sufficient coverage of Obama controversies, such as the 2012 Benghazi attack.[6]


Early lifeEdit

Attkisson was born in 1961 in Sarasota, Florida.[7] Her step-father is an orthopedic surgeon, and her brother is an emergency room physician. Attkisson graduated from the University of Florida with a degree in broadcast journalism in 1982.[8]


Attkisson began her broadcast journalism career in 1982 as a reporter at WUFT-TV, the PBS station in Gainesville, Florida. She later worked as an anchor and reporter at WTVX-TV Fort Pierce/West Palm Beach, Florida from 1982–1985, WBNS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Columbus, Ohio from 1985–86, and WTVT in Tampa, Florida (1986–1990).[9]


Attkisson on a USAF B-52 in 1999

From 1990–1993, Attkisson was an anchor for CNN, and also served as a key anchor for CBS space exploration coverage in 1993.[10] Attkisson left CNN in 1993,[11] moving to CBS, where she anchored the television news broadcast CBS News Up to the Minute and became an investigative correspondent based in Washington, D.C.[9]

She served on the University of Florida's Journalism College Advisory Board (1993–1997) and was its chair in 1996.[9] The University gave her an Outstanding Achievement Award in 1997. From 1997 to 2003, Attkisson simultaneously hosted CBS News Up to the Minute and the PBS health-news magazine HealthWeek.[12]


Attkisson received an Investigative Reporters and Editors (I.R.E.) Finalist award for Dangerous Drugs in 2000.[13] In 2001, Attkisson received an Investigative Emmy Award nomination for Firestone Tire Fiasco from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.[14]

In 2002, she co-authored a college textbook, Writing Right for Broadcast and Internet News; later that same year she won an Emmy Award for her Investigative Journalism about the American Red Cross.[9] The award was presented in New York City on September 10, 2002.[15] Attkisson was part of the CBS News team that received RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2005 for Overall Excellence.[13]

In 2006, Attkisson served as Capitol Hill correspondent for CBS,[16] as one of a small number of female anchors covering the 2006 midterms.[17] Attkisson was part of the CBS News team that received RTNDA-Edward R. Murrow Awards in 2008 for Overall Excellence.[13]

In 2008, Attkisson reported that a claim by Hillary Clinton to have dodged sniper fire in Bosnia was unfounded: Clinton's trip to Bosnia was risky, Attkisson said, but no real bullets were dodged. Attkisson was on the trip with Clinton.[18] The day after Attkisson's report on the CBS Evening News, Clinton admitted there was no sniper fire and said she "misspoke." [19][20] In 2009, Attkisson won an Investigative Emmy Award for Business and Financial Reporting for her exclusive reports on the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and the bank bailout.[13]


Attkisson in Stafford, Texas in 2014

Attkisson returned to the University of Florida as a keynote speaker at the College of Journalism and Communications in 2010.[8] That same year, she received an Emmy Award nomination for her investigations into members of Congress, and she also received a 2010 Emmy Award nomination for her investigation into waste of tax dollars.[21] In July 2011, Attkisson was nominated for an Emmy Award for her Follow the Money investigations into Congressional travel to the Copenhagen climate summit, and problems with aid to Haiti earthquake victims.[13][22]

In 2012, CBS News accepted an Investigative Reporting Award given to Attkisson's reporting on ATF's Fast and Furious gunwalker controversy. The award was from Accuracy in Media, a conservative news media watchdog group, and was presented at a Conservative Political Action Conference.[23] In June 2012, Attkisson's investigative reporting for the Gunwalker story also won the CBS Evening News the Radio and Television News Directors Association's National Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Video Investigative Reporting.[24] In July 2012, Attkisson's Gunwalker: Fast and Furious reporting received an Emmy Award.[25]

On March 10, 2014, Attkisson resigned from CBS News in what she stated was an "amicable" parting.[26][27] Politico reported that according to sources within CBS there had been tensions leading to "months of hard-fought negotiations" – that Attkisson had been frustrated over what she perceived to be the network's liberal bias and lack of dedication to investigative reporting, as well as issues she had with the network’s corporate partners, while some colleagues within the network saw her reporting as agenda-driven and doubted her impartiality.[27] Later that year, her book Stonewalled: One Reporter's Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama's Washington (Harpers) was published.[28] In this work, she accused CBS of protecting the Obama administration by not giving enough coverage to such stories as the 2012 Benghazi attack and slow initial enrollments under Obamacare.[29] The book was a New York Times Best Seller.[28]

Her second book, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote, was published by HarperCollins in summer 2017.[30]

In 2017, Attkisson created a media bias chart. According to PolitiFact, this chart "labels anything not overtly conservative as "left"." The news outlets with a purported left bias include the Associated Press, Reuters, ABC, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, NPR, Politico, USA Today, and CNBC.[31]

Anti-vaccine reportingEdit

In her reporting, Attkisson has published stories linking vaccines with autism, despite the fact that the scientific community has found no evidence of such a link.[32][33] Seth Mnookin, Professor of Science Writing and the Director of the Graduate Program in Science Writing at MIT, described Attkisson as "one of the least responsible mainstream journalists covering vaccines and autism. Again and again, she’s parroted anti-vaccine rhetoric long past the point that it’s been decisively disproved."[34]

In 2011, Paul Offit criticized Attkisson's reporting on vaccines as "damning by association" and lacking sufficient evidence in his book Deadly Choices.[35] In the medical literature, Attkisson has been accused of using problematic rhetorical tactics to "imply that because there is no conclusive answer to certain problems, vaccines remain a plausible culprit."[36] Attkisson said that she favors vaccinating children, but claimed that research suggests that "a small subset of children" have brains that are vulnerable to vaccines.[37] She has said that pharmaceutical companies are discouraging research into the vaccine-autism link, and that they pressured CBS News to stop covering the purported link.[37]

Computer hacking claimsEdit

In May 2013, while still employed at CBS, Attkisson alleged that her personal and work computers had been "compromised" for more than two years.[38] CBS News stated that it had investigated her work computer and found evidence of multiple unauthorized accesses by a third party in late 2012.[39] The U.S. Department of Justice denied any involvement.[40] In her 2014 book, she wrote that a forensic examination revealed that her personal computer was hacked with keystroke logging spyware, enabling an intruder to read all her e-mail messages and gain access to the passwords for her financial accounts.[41]

In late January 2015, Attkisson appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee[42] during a confirmation hearing for Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee to replace outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder. As part of her appearance in front of that committee, a report by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) was released[43] stating that "their investigation was not able to substantiate... allegations that Attkisson's computers were subject to remote intrusions by the FBI, other government personnel, or otherwise" and the deletion seen in Attkisson's video "appeared to be caused by the backspace key being stuck, rather than a remote intrusion".[44][45][46] "CBS News told the OIG that they did not conduct any analysis on her personal computer."[47]

In February 2015, The Washington Examiner clarified that the OIG did not examine the CBS News computer that Attkison claimed was compromised, but only inspected Attkisson's personal devices.[48]

In March 2015, Attkisson and her family filed suit in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia against Holder, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe, and unnamed agents of the US Department of Justice, the US Postal Service and the United States, claiming to have been subject to illegal surveillance activities.[49][50] The government then removed her case to a D.C. federal court, and the case was eventually transferred to a federal court in Virginia.[51] In 2017, federal judge Leonie Brinkema dismissed Attkisson's case, finding that Attkisson's lawsuit failed to allege sufficient facts to make a plausible claim that either defendant personally engaged in the alleged surveillance".[52] Attkisson appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, which affirmed the lower court's dismissal of Attkisson's case.[53]

Personal lifeEdit

Attkisson is married and has a daughter.[54] Attkisson has reached fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo.[7]


  1. ^ Grove, Lloyd (November 4, 2014). "Sharyl Attkisson: 'I Don't Care What People Think' About My Reporting". The Daily Beast.
  2. ^ Peterson, Nolan (March 13, 2014). "Return to her roots". Siesta Key Observer. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  3. ^ Florida, Marriages, 1970 - 1999, Certificate 010953, Volume 5540
  4. ^ Gill, Kay (2007). Who, a Directory of Prominent People. Omnigraphics. ISBN 9780780808096. Retrieved December 4, 2012.
  5. ^ Erik Wemple (April 22, 2015). "Sinclair Broadcast Group to launch Sunday show hosted by Sharyl Attkisson". The Washington Post. Nash Holdings LLC. Retrieved November 22, 2015.
  6. ^ "NYT Best Seller List". The New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Sharyl Attkisson, Investigative Correspondent". CBS. Archived from the original on November 21, 2013. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  8. ^ a b "21st Century Newsroom". University of Florida. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  9. ^ a b c d "Sharyl Attkisson full biography". CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on August 16, 2013. Retrieved November 28, 2012.
  10. ^ Hogan, Alfred. "Televising the Space Age: A descriptive chronology of CBS News special coverage of space exploration from 1957 to 2003" (PDF). University of Maryland. p. 260. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  11. ^ "TV Notes". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. May 28, 1993. p. 42. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  12. ^ "Sharyl Attkisson–About This Person". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  13. ^ a b c d e "Sharyl Attkisson profile". CBS News. Archived from the original on November 19, 2013. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  14. ^ "The 22nd Annual News and Documentary Emmy Award Nominees Announced by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences" (PDF). National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. July 19, 2001. Archived from the original (PDF) on December 29, 2014. Retrieved December 29, 2014. Correspondent Sharyl Attkisson
  15. ^ "23rd Annual; News & Documentary Emmy Awards – With Prominent 9/11 Coverage". Emmy Archived from the original on November 23, 2010. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  16. ^ "Sharyl Attkisson Is Named Cbs News Capitol Hill Correspondent". CBS Corporation. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  17. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (November 8, 2006). "Election Coverage Still a Men's Club". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved June 29, 2011.
  18. ^ "Video shows tarmac welcome, no snipers". Tampa Bay Times. March 25, 2008. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  19. ^ Healy, Patrick; Seelye, Katharine Q. (March 25, 2008). "Clinton says she "misspoke' about dodging sniper fire". The New York Times. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  20. ^ "Clinton say she "misspoke" about sniper fire". CNN. Retrieved November 7, 2016.
  21. ^ "Full List of Nominations for the 2010 News and Documentary Emmy Awards: Television Industry news, TV ratings, analysis, celebrity event photos". TVWeek. Retrieved June 25, 2014.
  22. ^ Attkisson 2011 Emmy nomination Archived September 19, 2011, at the Wayback Machine,; accessed October 28, 2014.
  23. ^ "Loesch, Attkisson to receive AIM awards". Politico. February 7, 2012. Retrieved February 10, 2012.
  24. ^ "2012 National Edward R. Murrow Award Winners". Radio Television Digital News Association. Archived from the original on October 15, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2012.
  25. ^ "33rd Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards nominations" (PDF). Emmy Online. Retrieved August 30, 2012.
  26. ^ Macneal, Caitlin (March 10, 2014). "CBS Investigative Reporter Sharyl Attkisson Resigns From Network". Talking Points Memo. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  27. ^ a b Byers, Dylan (March 10, 2014). "Sharyl Attkisson resigns from CBS News". Politico. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  28. ^ a b "Best Sellers: Combined Print & E-Book Nonfiction". The New York Times. November 23, 2014. Retrieved November 4, 2015.
  29. ^ Smith, Kyle (October 25, 2014), "Ex-CBS reporter's book reveals how liberal media protects Obama", New York Post, retrieved November 3, 2014
  30. ^ "New book: Sharyl Attkisson reveals the ghastly world of political smears, fake news". The Washington Times. July 4, 2017. Retrieved August 5, 2017.
  31. ^ "No, 96% of Google stories on Trump aren't left-wing". @politifact. Retrieved December 14, 2018.
  32. ^ "sharyl-attkisson-suggests-media-matters-was-paid-to-target-her".
  33. ^ Salzberg, Steven. "Anti-Vaccine Movement Causes The Worst Whooping Cough Epidemic In 70 Years". Forbes. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  34. ^
  35. ^ Offit, Paul (2011). Deadly Choices: How the Anti-Vaccine Movement Threatens Us All. ISBN 978-0465023561.
  36. ^ Kata, Anna (May 28, 2012). "Anti-vaccine activists, Web 2.0, and the postmodern paradigm – An overview of tactics and tropes used online by the anti-vaccination movement". Vaccine. 30 (25): 3778–3779. doi:10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.11.112. PMID 22172504.
  37. ^ a b Grove, Lloyd (November 4, 2014). "Sharyl Attkisson: 'I Don't Care What People Think' About My Reporting". The Daily Beast. Retrieved December 13, 2018.
  38. ^ Mirkinson, Jack (May 21, 2013). "CBS' Sharyl Attkisson: My Computers Were Compromised, 'Could Be Some Relationship' To DOJ Scandals". The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  39. ^ "CBS News Confirms Sharyl Attkisson's Computer Breached". The Huffington Post. June 14, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  40. ^ "Sharyl Attkisson's Computer Not Compromised, DOJ Says". The Huffington Post. May 22, 2013. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  41. ^ Smith, Kyle; Golding, Bruce (October 27, 2014), "Ex-CBS reporter: Government agency bugged my computer", New York Post, retrieved October 28, 2014
  42. ^ "Why is Sharyl Attkisson testifying at Loretta Lynch's confirmation hearing?". The Washington Post.
  43. ^ "DOJ OIG Report – Sharyl Attkisson". Scribd.
  44. ^ Hattem, Julian (January 29, 2015). "Watchdog: Attkisson wasn't hacked, had 'delete' key stuck". The Hill. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
  45. ^ Groch-Begley, Hannah; Strupp, Joe (October 31, 2014). "Computer Security Experts: Attkisson Video Of Purported "Hacking" Likely Just A Stuck Backspace Key". Media Matters for America. Retrieved January 5, 2015.
  46. ^ Fisher, Max (October 31, 2014). "The video of Sharyl Attkisson getting "hacked" actually just shows a stuck delete key". Vox. Retrieved November 2, 2014.
  47. ^ "Media Matters report on Attkisson claims". Media Matters for America. January 29, 2015.
  48. ^ T. Becket Adams (February 3, 2015). "Sharyl Attkisson: What was left out of reports on hacking". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved November 22, 2015. The IG did not rule out computer intrusions. It did not substantiate but neither did it rule out.
  49. ^ "Attkisson sues government over computer intrusions". The Washington Post. May 1, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  50. ^ "Editorial Opinion re Attkisson" (PDF). The Washington Post. January 5, 2015. Retrieved March 6, 2015.
  51. ^ "Attkisson v. Holder, 4th Cir. 2019" (PDF). United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  52. ^ Judge Tosses Reporter’s Claim of Obama-Era Wiretaps
  53. ^ "Attkisson v. Holder, 4th Cir. 2019" (PDF). United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.
  54. ^ "Attkisson biography". Television newsc enter. Retrieved March 11, 2014.

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