How would the media respond if the Watergate scandal occurred today?
Sharyl Attkisson thinks there wouldn't be much of a response at all. The former CBS News reporter argued Sunday on ABC News' "This Week" that journalists today seem to have far less authority than they did 40 years ago.
“I think that we’ve gone backwards since that time when we really felt empowered as journalists," she said.
Attkisson speculated on how the Nixon controversy would have been handled in a world filled with today's television and social media obsessions.
"Nixon would basically refuse to turn over tapes to Congress, his aides would refuse to testify to Congress or would take the Fifth or would lie to Congress with fair amount of impunity," she said. "Woodward and Bernstein would be controversialized on social media by special and political interests. ... Then at the end Nixon would go on a popular late-night comedy show, during which time he would humorously refer to his attackers as people who were political witch-hunters who believed in Area 51-type conspiracy theories."
Attkisson has spoken before about the changes to journalism in recent years. After resigning from CBS News in March, Attkisson said that it was "easy" to leave the network because of new "pressure" on journalists just for doing their jobs.
She has also criticized the press for being "very shy" when it comes to challenging the Obama administration's restrictions on the media and tendency to bar journalists from political events.
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