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Friday, May 30, 2008

Yellin Clarifies

After this blog (and many, many others) pounced on Jessica Yellin's pretty astounding comments to Anderson Cooper (I should note they were astounding simply for their straightforwardness, since the fact that media coverage was heavily tilted towards the jingoistic, "patriotic" fervor the White House continually stoked is no revelation to anyone who was paying attention), the correspondent felt the need to clarify.
I find myself in an interesting position. Today the blogs lit up with comments I made last night on AC360° and suddenly I’m being reported on.

It’s not the most comfortable position for a reporter.

So let me clarify what I said and what I experienced.

First, this involved my time on MSNBC where I worked during the lead up to war. I worked as a segment producer, overnight anchor, field reporter, and briefly covered the White House, the Pentagon, and general Washington stories.

Also, let me say: No, senior corporate leadership never asked me to take out a line in a script or re-write an anchor intro. I did not mean to leave the impression that corporate executives were interfering in my daily work; my interaction was with senior producers. What was clear to me is that many people running the broadcasts wanted coverage that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the country at the time. It was clear to me they wanted their coverage to reflect the mood of the country.

And now I’m going back to work covering the Puerto Rico primary from San Juan.
Which leads me to issue a correction, since I mistakenly assumed she was already at ABC at the time, when in fact she was still over at MSNBC.

Yes, the same MSNBC that fired Phil Donahue and Ashley Banfield for daring to question said "patriotic fever." And yes, that's the same MSNBC which has just as cravenly shifted 180 degrees from that stance (of trying to out-Fox Fox) to now court the surging progressive audience after blind jingoism fell from favor in the light of Bush's spectacular failures and law-breaking.

My bad.

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