Stonewalled Book Summary - Stonewalled Book explained in key points

Stonewalled summary

Sharyl Attkisson

My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington

16 mins

Brief summary

Stonewalled by Sharyl Attkisson exposes media propaganda and efforts to manipulate stories while providing a detailed account of the consequences of practicing investigative journalism.

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    Under President Obama, political transparency has been in steady decline.

    When President Obama took office in 2009, he promised his administration would deliver an “unprecedented level of openness.”

    Unfortunately, what we’ve gotten is the opposite: unprecedented obstructionism.

    In fact, the Obama administration excludes the press from events of great public interest. In 2010, for example, reporters were denied access to the president’s meeting with the Dalai Lama, as well as to a meeting with Pakistani human rights activist Malala Yousafzai.

    In 2013, reporters finally had had enough. Thirty-eight news organizations signed an open letter to the White House to make their frustration with these press restrictions known. Most major news outlets participated, including The Associated Press, ABC News, The New York Times and Fox News.

    Since Obama took office, the free press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders has even downgraded America’s press freedom ranking, based on criteria such as censorship, pluralism, media independence, press laws and transparency.

    Between 2008 and 2014, America’s global ranking has dropped from 41 in 2008 to 46 in 2014, out of 180 ranked nations.

    Reporters Without Borders has also criticized the government’s efforts to hunt down confidential sources and whistleblowers, like when the Department of Justice seized phone records from the Associated Press in 2013 without even notifying the news organization.

    What’s more, the administration prefers to circumvent tough questions from traditional news media outlets by producing its own content using channels that it can control more easily.

    For instance, rather than giving interviews to reporters, administration officials hold online chats with the public, such as a “Google+ Hangout” held in 2012. But rather than representing a critical cross-section of the public, the live video conference instead showcased five pre-selected individuals who were not hostile to the administration.  

    Social-network savvy White House officials also publish content on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook, in the hope that such messaging will be propagated by others online.

    Even the Pentagon has its own TV channel, featuring interviews and military news around the clock.

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    What is Stonewalled about?

    In Stonewalled, author and former journalist Sharyl Attkisson offers a tell-all account of her fight for truth amid what she considered significant obstruction from both government that had promised “unparalleled transparency” and from American media outlets.

    Stonewalled Review

    Stonewalled (2014) is a gripping exposé that sheds light on the depths of media manipulation and government propaganda. Here's why this book is worth the read:

    • With meticulous investigative journalism, Sharyl Attkisson uncovers the truth behind the media's biased reporting and reveals the hidden agendas at play.
    • Through first-hand accounts and insider perspectives, the book provides an inside look into the challenges faced by journalists who strive for honest and unbiased reporting.
    • Attkisson's fearless pursuit of the truth and refusal to be silenced keep readers engaged, proving that investigative journalism is an essential cornerstone of democracy.

    Best quote from Stonewalled

    [Obama is] the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation. – James Risen, The New York Times

    —Sharyl Attkisson
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    Who should read Stonewalled?

    • Anyone who questions the transparency of government administration
    • Anyone who questions the objectivity of mainstream media
    • Anyone interested in the challenges of investigative journalism in America

    About the Author

    Sharyl Attkisson was an anchor for American news networks CNN and CBS. She also worked as an investigative correspondent for CBS News’ Washington bureau. She has received five Emmy Awards and an Edward M. Murrow Award for investigative reporting.

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    Stonewalled FAQs 

    What is the main message of Stonewalled?

    The main message of Stonewalled is the pervasive influence of media bias and government intimidation on the free press.

    How long does it take to read Stonewalled?

    The reading time for Stonewalled varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Stonewalled a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Stonewalled is a compelling read that sheds light on the challenges faced by investigative journalists. It is definitely worth reading for anyone interested in media and government transparency.

    Who is the author of Stonewalled?

    Sharyl Attkisson is the author of Stonewalled.

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