by George Rasley
After CBS national security reporter, who once held the same job at Fox, broke the story that Joe Biden was one of the 39 government officials who “unmasked” General Mike Flynn, Andrew Bates, one of Biden’s top spokesmen sent this tweet:
Andrew Bates (AndrewBatesNC)
SCOOP: Catherine Herridge is a partisan, rightwing hack who is a regular conduit for conservative media manipulation ploys because she agrees to publicize things before contacting the target to ask for comment.
Soon after that attack, the Daily Beast weighed-in to, with only slightly more subtlety, to attack Ms. Herridge as a righwinger.
Max Tani at The Daily Beast posted the attack on Herridge under the headline “The New CBS Reporter Driving Democrats—and Some of Her Own Colleagues—Crazy.”
Tani claimed, “Herridge has also occasionally shaken up the normal course of business at CBS News, which has a reputation for by-the-book, no-nonsense reporting without a hint of bias. Some staff have privately grumbled that she gives the network the appearance of partisan political bias.
“Personally I and a few of my other colleagues are really frustrated because we thought she wanted to come to CBS to do real news, not just GOP talking points, but she’s just doing more of the same stuff,” one insider said. Several CBS staffers noted how the Fox News editorial standards are different than those at the more buttoned-up traditional broadcast news outlet, perhaps an inherent challenge in Herridge’s transition to her new outlet.”
Editor’s Note: When you stop laughing at the claim CBS News “has a reputation for by-the-book, no-nonsense reporting without a hint of bias” please read on.
Now here’s the tell in Tani’s article that this is not about journalism standards: “Since jumping from Fox News to CBS last year, journalist Catherine Herridge has frustrated Democrats and some of her own co-workers, who worry she pushes ‘GOP talking points’.”
The Daily Beast later posted a telling tweet, expanding on the Democrats’ beef with Ms. Herridge: “Democrats on Capitol Hill have grown particularly irked by Catherine Herridge’s work, believing she’s become a de facto clearing house for conservative conspiracy theorists who want to give their material the veneer of mainstream objectivity.”
Tani later admits “Herridge has been careful to never cross the line into overt advocacy,” and quotes CBS officials praising her work. But it’s not hard to imagine that Herridge is finding herself to be the new version of Sharyl Attkisson, where many stories are sidelined to the internet because they’re too upsetting for liberals to grant the “imprimatur of neutrality’.”
We have long-admired the reporting of both Catherine Herridge and Sharyl Attkisson precisely because they have reported stories that don’t fit the conventional wisdom and can be upsetting – and not just to liberals. We don’t recall Ms. Herridge pulling any punches in her reporting on the national security failures of the Bush administration, same with Ms. Attkisson.
However, the Daily Beast claims some of Herridge’s stories have been relegated from television to the CBS’s online-only network CBSN.
According to one person with knowledge, said Tani, CBS News bumped part of her interview with former national security council official Kash Patel to its digital streaming platform amid some concerns that an initial segment didn’t have enough opposing voices.
Where were the opposing voices in the breathless CBS News “reporting” on the Russiagate hoax? Nowhere to be found of course, because the totally false Trump – Russian collusion was the narrative that Democrats and their Deep State allies wanted to establish as the “truth.”
And in our view busting that narrative was Catherine Herridge’s real sin in the eyes of her liberal media colleagues at CBS and elsewhere.
Bloomberg’s highly respected Eli Lake, who covers much of the same national security beat Herridge covers tweeted in her defense:
@CBS_Herridge is doing her job and following a story that her media and partisan attackers once hyped, to their discredit. To attack her is partisan gets it backwards. Not reporting on the new documents on the Flynn case betrays partisanship.
Speaking with Fox News host Martha MacCallum on Friday, the Intercept’s decidedly liberal co-founder Glenn Greenwald praised Herridge for her “extremely reliable” reporting on the Russian collusion narrative in spite of attacks from 2020 Democratic candidate Joe Biden’s campaign staff.
“I think Catherine Herridge is a reporter of the highest integrity and professionalism,” Greenwald told MacCallum. “I find it extremely ironic because every time President Trump has insulted or attacked a journalist popular among mainstream media outlets, they proclaim that the republic is coming to an end, that it’s an assault on the free press.”
Greenwald, agreeing with us, said Herridge is being attacked because she has presented facts that run counter to prevailing narratives in the media about President Trump’s administration.
“For years, there’s been no dissent and no questioning tolerated in the mainstream media when it comes to the Russiagate scandal, the Mueller probe, and she doesn’t play that game,” said Greenwald. “And that’s why they want to punish her.”