Thursday, May 29, 2008

Who's To Blame?

Interesting times. Yesterday a former MSNBC journo (now with CNN) came out with this stark admission:
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the press corps dropped the ball at the beginning. When the lead-up to the war began, the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president’s high approval ratings.

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…

COOPER: You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?

YELLIN: Not in that exact — they wouldn’t say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces. 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.
But today Ms Yelling has been forced to clarify her comments:
No, senior corporate leadership never asked me to take out a line in a script or re-write an anchor intro. I did not mean to leave the impression that corporate executives were interfering in my daily work; my interaction was with senior producers. What was clear to me is that many people running the broadcasts wanted coverage that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the country at the time. It was clear to me they wanted their coverage to reflect the mood of the country.
So who puts the pressure on the "senior producers" hmmn? Don't expect to see Jessica Yellin anchoring a Fox News segment anytime soon.

But don't expect to see too many more of those Obama/Osama mistakes either: I thought this story might be a joke until I confirmed it here. Yes, Murdoch really has jumped horses from Hillary to Obama, just before the Clinton campaign completely disintegrates. Video here.

The links are worth a read: e.g. Murdoch claims he was personally responsible for the New York Post's endorsement of Obama during the NY primary (so much for non-interference in editorials). And he says he would hire a liberal counterpart to Bill O'Reilly on Fox News "if he could find a good one":
What about MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who's now spending much of his time attacking O'Reilly and Fox?

"No. I fired him 5 years ago," when he was on FoxSports: "He was crazy."
UPDATE: "Crazy" Keith scores a one-hour interview with Scott McClellan. You can watch it here. How do you like them apples, Rupert?