As I said yesterday, McClellan’s contention that the networks were complicit in the War Propaganda campaign, were as damning as anything said about Bush. Now Jessica Yellin, who was at ABC during the run up to the war has spilled the beans on her bosses on Anderson Cooper’s show last night.
“The press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president’s high approval ratings,” Yellin said.
“And my own experience at the White House was that the higher the president’s approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives – and I was not at this network at the time – but the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the president, I think over time….”
But then a shocked Cooper jumped in, asking, “You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?”
“Not in that exact…. They wouldn’t say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces,” Yellin said. “They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical, and try to put on pieces that were more positive. Yes, that was my experience.”
Michael Eisner (Disney/ABC), Bob Wright (GE/NBC), Rupert Murdoch (News Corp/Fox) and Sumner Redstone (Viacom/CBS) should be hauled before Congress to explain this. The broadcast licenses they hold are in the “public interest, convenience, or necessity” not in the Bush administration’s “interest, convenience or necessity.”
UPDATE-Turns out Yellin was working for MSNBC, not ABC in the run up to the war.