NBC Continues to Push Pentagon’s Military Propaganda

Glenn Greenwald has been tirelessly cover the mainstream corporate media’s perpetual fear-mongering with respect to war with Iran. At a time when few people consistently hold the media elites accountable, Greenwald is one of the few that simply won’t let go of this- he is like a dog with a bone and we are much better off for it. Now if only pressure would build on the media to stop cheerleading for each and every war that comes down the pike.

In the run up to the Iraq War and during the initial stages of the Iraq War, the television media often used retired generals as military “analysts,” many of whom were still on the Pentagon payroll or were involved in defense contractor consulting work which made them a walking case study of a lack of journalistic and corporate ethics. NBC was the worst offender, never, ever telling viewers that these generals had a financial and political interest in the wars they were promoting.

Then the NYT’ David Barstow won a Pulitzer for exposing this media/Pentagon nonsense but of course, nothing changed. Now, NBC is at it again, this time about Iran:

One of the prime offenders was Gen. Barry McCaffrey, who was not only a member of the Pentagon’s propaganda program, but also, according to Barstow’s second stand-alone article, had his own “Military-Industrial-Media Complex,” deeply invested in many of the very war policies he pushed and advocated while posing as an NBC “analyst…”


Despite Barstow’s Pulitzer, neither Brian Williams nor anyone else at NBC News ever mentioned any of these groundbreaking stories to their viewers (even as Williams reported on other Pulitzer awards that year); the controversy over the Pentagon propaganda program was simply suppressed. And NBC continued to feature those same ex-Generals as “analysts” — including McCaffrey — as though the whole thing never happened.

Apparently, not only does NBC continue to present McCaffrey to its viewers as some sort of objective analyst, but NBC News executives use him as some kind of private consultant and briefer on the news. On January 12, 2012, McCaffrey presented a seminar to roughly 20 NBC executives and producers — including NBC News President Steve Capus — entitled “Iran, Nukes & Oil: The Gulf Confrontation.” We’ve obtained the Power Point document McCaffrey prepared and distributed for his presentation, and in it, he all but predicts war with Iran within the next 90 days: one that is likely to be started by them. The first page of the breathlessly hawkish document is entitled “Iran & the Gulf Creeping Toward War…”


While McCaffrey’s office failed to return several calls seeking comment — I was particularly interested to know whether any of his ample consulting clients would benefit from a war with Iran — Lauren Kapp, an NBC News spokeswoman, confirmed the existence of this meeting. She said: “We regularly host editorial board meetings with our editorial board staff,” and besides McCaffrey: “we have heard from top ranking current and former US Government officials” (she also says that they once heard from an Iranian ambassador to the U.N.). She added:

We are exhaustive in our conversation with people from various perspectives and expertise when we over a story of this magnitude. And we are confident in the level and breadth of the conversations we are having with representatives from all viewpoints.
Council for foreign relations, etc….

Not just current and former U.S. government officials and Generals, but also members of the “Council for foreign relations”: the diversity of viewpoints is staggering….

Go read Glennwald’s whole article, it’s worth a read, as is every other blog post he’s put up over the last month about the total hypocrisy of the United States’ posture towards Iran.

Most importantly, take 5 minutes and email NBC Nightly News to let them know you are aware of their lack of journalistic ethics. The contact page can be found here.

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About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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6 Comments on “NBC Continues to Push Pentagon’s Military Propaganda”

  1. thainjacobs Says:

    It’s really a disgrace. I remember when the NYT story came out detailing how the Generals were still employed by the Pentagon and actually were part of the White House Iraq Group (WHIG) – the Bush admin neocon propaganda shop charged with selling the Iraq War to the brain dead, easily manipulated American public. The reaction of the mainstream media to this serious charge of unethical journalism? They totally ignored it. Think about it, the MSM has the power to make the news and also to silence it, so when a story broke about how THEY were responsible for peddling WH propaganda, they simply chose not to cover the story. NBC News’ perpetually tanned Brian Williams, who is a joke of a TV anchor/”journalist,” ignored it and then later simply claimed the MSM did a fantastic job in the run up to the Iraq War. The End.

    Welcome back Stacy, I check in daily- I know you were back in the hospital again- I sent you an email- let us know that you are ok.


  2. Carolyn-Rodham Says:

    Nice to “see” you both again. I learn something every time you guys post.


  3. seamus6 Says:

    I’m reading incredible stuff about how Bibi is going to the US this week and demanding Obama give him assurances that the US will attack Iran.

    I would think US citizens would be more skeptical of this sort of thing after Iraq but I guess not. Members of your congress were apparently just in Israel assuring Bibi they would do his bidding even if it meant undermining their own president (Obama). It’s the very definition of dual loyalty.


  4. seamus6 Says:

    The stupidity of the war on terror- Saudi Arabia is more dangerous and connected to 9/11 than any other country in the Middle East:



  5. truth-kill-lies Says:

    Totally! Right now they are writing gross stories against Russia, with all sort of Russo-phobic nonsense. However they fail to point out the illegality of self-proclaimed Neo-Nazi new government that invaded government building in Kiev. While blaming Russia for everything they can come up with. Their Propaganda smells with1980s.


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