4.22.2008

Media blackout of NYT's "military analyst" story continues

Brilliance from Glenn Greenwald, again:

I was hoping to write about the fallout from the NYT's Saturday story regarding the media's use of Pentagon-controlled "independent" military analysts, but there hasn't really been any fallout at all. Despite being accused by the NYT in a very lengthy, well-documented expose of misleadingly feeding government propaganda to their viewers and readers, virtually all media outlets continue their steadfast refusal to address or even acknowledge the story. How can "news" organizations refuse to address -- just completely ignore -- accusations which fundamentally indict their behavior as "journalists"?

As I noted on Sunday, the most striking part of the roughly-7000-word article was that several of the most guilty news outlets -- CBS, NBC and Fox -- just outright refused to answer the NYT's questions about their use of military analysts, what they knew about their analysts' dealings with the Pentagon and the defense industry, and what procedures they use (then and now) to ensure that they don't broadcast government propaganda disguised as independent analysis. Identically, other news organizations not explicitly mentioned by the NYT article but which used some of the tainted sources (such as The Washington Post) have similarly failed to address their role in disseminating this Pentagon-controlled propaganda.

Media organizations simply ignore -- collectively blackout -- any stories that expose major corruption in their news reporting, as evidenced by the fact that no major network or cable news programs have ever meaningfully examined the fundamental failures of the media in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq. As Bill Moyers noted at the beginning of his truly superb documentary on the media-government collaboration concerning the invasion: "The story of how the media bought what the White House was selling has not been told in depth on television." Thus, one of the most significant political stories of this generation -- what Moyers described as "our press largely surrender[ing] its independence and skepticism to join with our Government in marching to war" -- has simply been rendered invisible by our largest media outlets. That scandal just does not exist, particularly on television.

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