TV censors itself

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Posted April 23, 2009 by Jimmy Fowler in Blotch

The most-read story on salon.com has not been seriously reported – in most cases, not reported at all — by the major TV news broadcasters, including NBC, ABC, CNN, and MSNBC. No surprise, since it directly implicates them. Anyone who’s concerned about how TV pundits shape the national debate should read Glenn Greenwald’s “The Pulitzer-winning investigation that dare not be uttered on TV,” about the Pulitzer-winning investigative work by David Barstow and the “NYT.” Barstow’s pieces chiefly concern retired four-star Gen. Barry McCaffrey, a ubiquitous TV news presence who’s been opining about the Iraq war since we invaded that country. Turns out McCaffrey has been a paid consultant of military contractors; he endorsed their interests as part of his job as an “independent analyst” on major news networks. According to Barstow’s reporting, the general was also pursued by the Pentagon to become a “message force multiplier” for the Bush administration. But NBC, CNN, et al have mostly kept silent about McCaffrey’s countless appearances on their shows over the years – especially on the topic of whether they participated in the creation of propaganda.

This is scary stuff. The internet gets hammered for its rag tag, scattershot nature, but in the case of watchful aggregators like salon.com, it can prove vital as a disseminator of valuable info that the broadcast news giants want to keep buried.


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