quinta-feira, 25 de fevereiro de 2010
“The Media-Lobbying Complex”: Investigation Exposes Undisclosed Corporate Ties of Network Political Pundits
A four-month investigation into the covert corporate influence on cable news found that since 2007 at least seventy-five registered lobbyists, public relations representatives and corporate officials have repeatedly appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CNBC and Fox Business Network with no disclosure that they are paid by corporate interests. We speak to journalist Sebastian Jones, who carried out the investigation for The Nation magazine.
Editor's Note: The online slideshow Faces of the Media-Lobbying Complex, which accompanied this March 1 cover story (Sebastian Jones, "The Media-Lobbying Complex"), initially began with an image of Governor Howard Dean from his appearance as a guest host on MSNBC's Countdown. The slideshow featured lobbyists who appeared on TV news as analysts without disclosing their corporate affiliations, and in that context it may have created the false impression that Dean is a lobbyist or that he used his Countdown appearance to promote his law firm's clients. Neither is true in Dean's case. The article included only one sentence about Dean, whose law firm consults for pharmaceutical companies, and did not suggest that Dean had done anything unethical. But MSNBC, by having him host Countdown without disclosing his firm's consultancy, created a potential conflict of interest of which viewers were unaware. As the article points out, the practice is commonplace at all TV news networks, which bear the ultimate journalistic responsibility.