CBS News investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson did not attend an awards ceremony at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday as expected, despite reportedly confirming she would be there.
Attkisson, who has been covering the fallout from Operation Fast and Furious, was slated to accept an award from the conservative watchdog group Accuracy in Media. Instead, Accuracy in Media spokesman Logan Churchwell told Talking Points Memo Attkisson had been sent on an assignment out of town. CBS News’ Washington bureau chief Christopher Isham accepted it on her behalf.
When Accuracy in Media first announced its award recipients, Churchwell said Attkisson had “confirmed and reconfirmed” her attendance at CPAC to accept it in person.
But that changed when it came time to accept the award.
“Sharyl was very sorry not to be here today, she is traveling out of town on assignment, so I’m going to accept this award on her behalf, on behalf of CBS News,” Isham said, adding that Attkisson would be donating the proceeds from her award to the family of slain Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
As Politico noted, Attkisson was the first reporter from a non-conservative media outlet to receive an award from the group. A CBS News spokesperson, responding to the announcement at the time, said its journalists are “regularly honored by a broad spectrum of organizations.”
On her Twitter page, Attkisson re-tweeted two messages from other users about being on assignment for CBS and unable to accept the award in person. She responded to one message about donating her award money to the Terry family, saying: “I wish I could do more for Brian Terry!”
In October, Attkisson told radio host Laura Ingraham on her program that a White House official“screamed” and “cussed” at her over her Fast and Furious coverage.