ANDERSON COOPER: …Did the press corps drop the ball?
JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I wouldn’t go that far.
I think the press corps dropped the ball at the beginning. When the lead-up to the war began, the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president’s high approval ratings.
And my own experience at the White House was that, the higher the president’s approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives – and I was not at this network at the time – but the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the president.
I think, over time…
COOPER: You had pressure from news executives to put on positive stories about the president?
YELLIN: Not in that exact – they wouldn’t say it in that way, but they would edit my pieces. 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.
Do we think anything’s changed? I don’t know why we would. Certainly one could surmise that this subtle pressure from could be influencing the coverage of our economic crisis. That really hits home with these executives.