Networks again refuse to go on the record about NY Times' military analyst exposé
Summary: ABC, CBS, and NBC have still not reported on any of their news programs The New York Times' revelations about the hidden ties between media military analysts and the Pentagon. Further, the major broadcast networks and cable news networks all reportedly declined to discuss the issue for an NPR report; the networks similarly reportedly declined to participate in an April 24 PBS NewsHour segment on the issue.
All of this comes as no surprise to those of us that realize the networks were co-conspirators in this misinformation campaign.
Continuing their silence, the major broadcast networks and cable news networks all reportedly declined to discuss the April 20 New York Times front-page article on the hidden ties between media military analysts and the Pentagon on the record with NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik. Further, according to a search* of transcripts available in the Nexis database, the broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- still had not reported on the revelations in the Times story on any of their news programs through May 1. According to the Project for Excellence in Journalism's (PEJ) News Coverage Index, there were "only two related stories in the week of April 21-27, both of them in the April 24 PBS NewsHour broadcast." As Media Matters for America previously noted, the three major broadcast networks -- ABC, CBS, and NBC -- and the three major cable news networks -- CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC -- all reportedly declined to participate in a segment on the April 24 edition of PBS' NewsHour about "the role of military analysts on TV and in the Pentagon."
In a May 1 segment on NPR's All Things Considered, Folkenflik reported that "the New York Times story has stirred discomfort within network news divisions already bruised by the media's failure to challenge the administration before the invasion over claims Iraq had weapons of mass destruction" and that "[n]ews executives and consultants wouldn't comment for this story, but privately say their on-air comments were honestly held beliefs," an assertion disputed by several of the analysts quoted in the Times article. Folkenflik also quoted former CBS News president Andrew Heyward blaming the Pentagon: "There was a deliberate attempt to deceive the public by having analysts whose real allegiance was to the Pentagon and who apparently were given at least special access for that allegiance, were presented as analysts whose allegiance was to the networks and therefore to the public."
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