Part 2 of The ongoing disgrace of NBC News and Brian Williams | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


Part 2 of The ongoing disgrace of NBC News and Brian Williams

NBC and McCaffrey's coordinated responses to the NYT story

By Glenn Greewald

Following up on yesterday's post regarding NBC News' suppression of the "military analyst" scandal and its ongoing reliance on the deeply conflicted Barry McCaffrey: I have obtained, from a very trustworthy source, emails sent last week between NBC News executives and McCaffrey (which cc:d Brian Williams), reflecting the extensive collaboration between NBC and McCaffrey to formulate a coordinated response to David Barstow's story. The emails are re-printed here.

Rather than honestly investigate the numerous facts which Barstow uncovered about McCaffery's severe conflicts, NBC instead is clearly in self-protective mode, working in tandem with McCaffrey to create justifications for what they have done. As these emails reflect, both this weekend's story about McCaffrey and the earlier NYT story in April have caused NBC News to expend substantial amounts of time, effort and resources trying to manage the P.R. aspects of this story.

But remarkably, this "news organization" has still not uttered a peep to its viewers about these stories; has not reported on any of the indisputably newsworthy events surrounding the Pentagon's "military analyst" program; and continues to present McCaffrey to its viewers as an objective source without disclosing any of the multiple connections and interests he has that would lead any reasonable person to question his objectivity.

Perhaps most notable of all is how plainly dishonest the NBC response to Barstow is -- a response which, unsurprisingly (given their coordination) is tracked by the response posted on McCaffrey's website and by his hired P.R. agent, Robert Weiner, who is pasting a defense of McCaffrey in various places on the Internet (including my comment section yesterday) without identifying himself as such. As their only defense to these accusations, both NBC and McCaffrey are repeatedly emphasizing that McCaffrey criticized the Bush administration and Donald Rumsfeld's prosecution of the Iraq War, as though that proves that McCaffrey's NBC commentary was independent and honest and not influenced by his numerous business connections to defense contractors.

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