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The Truth Behind the Media-Lobbying Complex

By Democracy Now
February 24, 2010

Re-posted by Erin Schumaker, Nation intern

In his latest piece for The Nation, journalist Sebastian Jones investigates conflicts of interest surrounding political analysts on TV. His four-month long investigation, "The Media-Lobbying Complex," discovered that since 2007 at least seventy-five registered lobbyists, public relations representatives and corporate officials have appeared on major networks with no mention of their corporate or political ties. Jones says the number may be even higher.

On Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, Jones explains the numerous cases in which a guest will advocate for a certain position while working for a lobbying firm or PR firm that would benefit from what they're pushing. Barry McCaffrey, a "military analyst," appeared on MSNBC claiming the US needed more time in Afghanistan. Unmentioned was his tie to DynCorp, a company that just received a "five-year deal worth an estimated $5.9 billion to aid American forces in Afghanistan." Mark Penn, identified as a Clinton administration pollster and Democratic strategist, pushed to halt healthcare reform. His role as CEO of Burson-Marsteller, a PR firm representing Pfizer and Eli Lilly, went unacknowledged.

Jones asks for simple disclosure that would allow viewers to make their own evaluations. But until now, the networks have been slow to comply. "It's tough to understand how putting up a single line under McCaffrey's name reading, 'Also works for defense contractors'--or naming them specifically-- how that takes two years to do." says Jones. "I don't know but I don't work for TV."


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Comment by Mark Watson on May 15, 2010 at 7:50pm
Truth is futile - even if I have something to beg!
Comment by Robert Myers on March 19, 2010 at 12:05pm
I love The Young Turks. I have been a member for many years now and will continue to support them.

This video is a great discussion of the corruption of the mainstream media. I feel like it's a treat when I see Katrina V (not wanting to destroy her last name), Jane Hamsher, John Nicols, Markos, David Corn and Joan Walsh because so many times we are robbed of a real conversation and the "journalists" and "Moderators" are transformed into Stenographers or simply proactively try to present facts as "interpretable" depending whose side you are on. The left says it's torture, the right says it's just valid interrogations, you decide. The decision was made years ago when we convicted people for the behavior.

I have been trying to nudge The Young Turks into a network mentality because we have no progressive "networks" on the left. With the many, many options available on the internet it has created a very manual user expeience and many, many outlets to chose from. Unless you are well organized and have the time to stop and click after each video, it's great for an internet user. I'm looking for a place that I can get longer content, hence the 3 hours of Young Turks I get in a few clicks. I have placed my trust in Cenk Uyger to find the relavent news stories and help me understand them.

I enjoy the pleasure of being able to work from home 95% of the time so usually watch my TYT show from the previous day and then turn on MSNBC and yell at the TV until Keith and Rachel are on in the evening (PS I love my TiVo too). Unfortunately, what I don't have time to do is this, search through blogs, read articles and find the many progressive resources on the web.

Thank you.

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