The New York Times's David Barstow, whose excellent and aggressive journalism led to the uncovering last April of the Pentagon's domestic propaganda program involving network "military analysts," today returns to this topic with another lengthy front-page exposé.
Barstow focuses today on the numerous, undisclosed conflicts of interest of Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who continues to be featured frequently by NBC News as an objective analyst as opines about war policies in which he has a substantial (and concealed) financial stake.Some of the key facts which Barstow reports concerning the improper behavior of McCaffrey and NBC News were documented all the way back in April, 2003, in this excellent article from The Nation, which Barstow probably should have credited today.
That article -- entitled "TV's Conflicted Experts" -- detailed the numerous defense contractors to which McCaffrey had a substantial connection -- including Mitretek, Veritas and Integrated Defense Technologies, all featured by Barstow today -- and highlighted how the policies and viewpoints McCaffrey was advocating as a "military analyst" on NBC directly benefited those companies. ...
PD's entire post's here.
So far Williams and NBC are refusing to comment on the NYT's latest.
But at MSNBC's The DailyNightly blog, viewers are speaking up.
Williams' puffy post about traffic in New Jersey and Thanksgiving shopping drew such comments as this from Alan Nelson - - -
I'd like to hear an explanation from you rather than the NBC pr department speaking to this weekend's revelations in the New York Times that Barry McAffrey has been promoting his private defense industry interests in the guise of "expert commentary" on NBC News.
This is corruption at its most insidious, influence peddling masquerading as objective commentary. I would expect better from NBC News.
Tim asked - - -
Any plans for Mr. Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor, to address the latest NYT's article in a non-spin, serious manner? Or will your organization continue to dismiss and belittle serious journalism just because it is embarrassing to NBC and Mr Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor?
From gkokoris - - -
How long will it be before your conscience or your shame compels you to publicly, and honestly, address NBC's disgraceful promotion of General McCaffrey as as an independent military analyst?
The NYT's article is a devastating indictment of your shoddy journalistic ethics, and your ongoing efforts to obscure or dismiss this scandal.
The story has only grown since the initial reporting in April of '08. You need to offer more than snide dismissals, defensive back-pedaling, or protestations of innocence.
There was a time Williams and NBC could stiff viewers on the McCaffrey story.
But not in the Internet Age with the NYT pumping out the news and viewers putting it right to Williams and NBC on Williams' post thread.
It will properly be lame, but look for some kind of statement soon from Williams and NBC. And look for less McCaffrey on NBC.
I'm going to try to watch NBC News tonight.
More on this story tomorrow.
Hat tip: Romenesko