Corporate Executives Pressured Journalists on Iraq


Bill Moyers had a PBS special last year called, “Buying the War,” which included all kinds of fascinating insights on the journalistic malpractice at the nation’s major news outlets leading up to the war in Iraq. Most notably, Moyers pressed Walter Isaacson, former chairman and CEO of CNN, to explain what transpired. Isaacson noted there was “almost a patriotism police” after 9/11 and when the network showed civilian casualties it would get phone calls: “Big people in corporations were calling up and saying, ‘You’re being anti-American here.’”

The notion that corporate executives would lean on the executives at news networks was more than a little disconcerting. But it’s just as important to realize that journalists were also under pressure to deliberately sell the public a bill of goods.

Last night, CNN congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin made a startling concession on the air.

It’s not every day that a broadcast journalist at a major network acknowledges for a national audience that she was “under enormous pressure from corporate executives,” who later edited her pieces and pushed her in specific pro-war directions.

This is, by any measure, no small admission.

For those who can’t watch clips online, here’s the transcript of the relevant portion:

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ }}
@2022 - AlterNet Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. - "Poynter" fonts provided by