(Project Censored Investigative Research) “In 2006 only 118 people comprise the membership on the boards of director of the ten big media giants. These 118 individuals in turn sit on the corporate boards of 288 national and international corporations. Four of the top ten media corporations in the major defense contractors on their boards of directors, including:
William Kennard: New York Times, Carlyle Group
Douglas Warner III, GE (NBC), Bechtel
John Bryson: Disney (ABC), Boeing
Alwyn Lewis: Disney (ABC), Halliburton
Douglas McCorkindale: Gannett, Lockheed-Martin.
Given an interlocked media network, it is safe to say that big media in the United States effectively represent the interests of corporate America. The media elite, a key component of the Higher Circle Policy Elite in the US, are the watchdogs of acceptable ideological messages, the controllers of news and information content, and the decision makers regarding media resources.
An important case of Pentagon influence over the corporate media is CNN’s retraction of the story about US Military use of sarin (a nerve gas) in 1970 in Laos during the Vietnam War. CNN producers April Oliver and Jack Smith, after an eight-month investigation, reported on CNN June 7, 1998, and later in Time magazine that sarin gas was used in Operation Tailwind in Laos, and that American defectors were targeted. The story was based on eyewitness accounts and high military command collaboration. Under tremendous pressure from the Pentagon, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and Richard Helms, CNN and Time retracted the story by saying, “The allegations about the use of nerve gas and the killing of defectors are not supported by the evidence.” Oliver and Smith were both fired by CNN later that summer. They have steadfastly stood by their original story as accurate and substantiated. CNN and Time, under intense Pentagon pressure, quickly reversed their position after having fully approved the release of the story only weeks earlier. April Oliver feels that CNN and Time capitulated to the Pentagon’s threat to lock them out of future military stories….” [much more]
(Slate.com) Retired generals into media shills: “..In response to Sept. 11, the Pentagon’s publicity department organized at least 161 ‘outreach’ meetings with retired military officers serving as television commentators on the war effort. The Pentagon provided this select group with high level briefings, showering them with talking points and otherwise equipping them to be media defenders of administration policy. The meetings were suspended in 2008 amid a first wave of reports alleging improprieties. The inspector general responded with a defense of the outreach program in 2009, but his initial report was so full of errors that he retracted it and went back to the drawing board….the report acknowledges that General Barry McCaffrey, who won a Distinguished Service Medal in Desert Storm, was excluded from meetings as punishment after he publicly criticized the Iraq war: ‘I was told … that this was the Secretary’s decision,’ explained an unnamed official at the public relations office….” [more]
“..Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants….”