CNN Reporter: Corp. Execs Pushed Media to Play Up War

Jessica Yellin explains 'deferential' attitude Scott McClellan alluded to
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2008 9:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – CNN reporter Jessica Yellin charged on-air last night that “the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives” to present the Iraq war consistently “with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings.” Responding to Scott McClellan’s complaint that reporters were too “deferential,” Yellin—who was at ABC in the war run-up—told Anderson Cooper her own pieces were edited to elevate the positive and downplay the critical.

Glenn Greenwald says on Salon that Yellin’s admission is the only the latest “compelling evidence” that corporate execs “forced their paid reporters to mimic the administration line,” and runs down other journalists who broke the mold—alleging that MSNBC fired Ashleigh Banfield for suggesting that news coverage was slanted and the popular Phil Donahue for being anti-war.