See No Pulitzer, Hear No Pulitzer, Speak No Pulitzer
Yesterday, New York Times reporter David Barstow won a Pulitzer Prize for his investigative story about the Pentagon pundits who embed inside network and cable news as "military analysts," and all the conflicts of interest therein. Incredibly, the victory came despite practically no mentions on television news whatsoever.
By whom were these "ties to companies" undisclosed and for whom did these deeply conflicted retired generals pose as "analysts"? ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, CNN and Fox -- the very companies that have simply suppressed the story from their viewers. They kept completely silent about Barstow's story even though it sparked Congressional inquiries, vehement objections from the then-leading Democratic presidential candidates, and allegations that the Pentagon program violated legal prohibitions on domestic propaganda programs. The Pentagon's secret collaboration with these "independent analysts" shaped multiple news stories from each of these outlets on a variety of critical topics. Most amazingly, many of them continue to employ as so-called "independent analysts" the very retired generals at the heart of Barstow's story, yet still refuse to inform their viewers about any part of this story.
Indeed, NBC and CNN's reporting on the Pulitzer winners carefully avoided any mention of Barstow's story. NBC even ran a separate piece last night using one of the "military analysts" of the type in the Pentagon pundits investigation. As Glennzilla asks, "Has there ever been another Pulitzer-Prize-winning story for investigative reporting never to be mentioned on major television -- let alone one that was twice featured as the lead story on the front page of The New York Times?"
Did I expect any different? No. But the parallel structure of the news these days - where the conservation in one corner bears absolutely no resemblance to the conversation in the other - is quite striking.