By: E&P Staff
Connie Schultz, in her column today, discussed the disturbing facts found in Sunday’s New York Times story about retired military officers posing as objective commentators on TV.
“In a long and jaw-dropping piece … reporter David Barstow documented just how badly television news has failed to ask the right questions,” noted the 2005 Pulitzer Prize winner, who’s with The Plain Dealer of Cleveland and Creators Syndicate. “He recounted how, in numerous interviews on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and Fox, dozens of former military officers masqueraded as independent observers, cheering on this never-ending war without mentioning that they had been intensely courted and coached by the Pentagon.
“They also didn’t disclose their ties to military contractors profiting from the very war policies they were asked to evaluate.”
Schultz added: “Time and again, and not remotely coincidentally, these retired officers repeated Pentagon talking points on TV. Some of them did this even when they didn’t agree with the administration. They were afraid of jeopardizing their access to classified information — and to power.
“Newspapers aren’t off the hook here. We regularly quoted from these interviews, and many papers ran Op-Ed pieces by some of these men.
“Meanwhile, the American public was duped.”
Schultz’s complete column — titled Journalism’s Loss Was Propaganda’s Gain — can be seen here.