Thursday, May 29, 2008

FORMER ABC REPORTER CLAIMS NETWORK TOLD HER TO SOFT PEDAL BUSH BAD NEWS

MICHAEL CLADERONE, POLITICO - CNN's Jessica Yellin talked to Anderson Cooper about Scott McClellan's tell-all memoir and agreed with the former press secretary that White House reporters "dropped the ball" during the run-up to war. But Yellin went much further, revealing that news executives--presumably at ABC News, where she'd worked from July 2003 to August 2007--actively pushed her not do hard-hitting pieces on the Bush administration. "The press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president's high approval ratings," Yellin said.. . .

A shocked Cooper jumped in, asking, "You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?"

"Not in that exact. . . They wouldn't say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces," Yellin said. "They would push me in different directions. They would turn down stories that were more critical, and try to put on pieces that were more positive. Yes, that was my experience."

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