Undisclosed conflicts of interest at NBC

Retired Gen. McCaffrey + NBC = Epic Fail

The New York Times has published another blockbuster exposé about the Pentagon’s efforts to control media coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The first article, published in April, took an overall look at the Pentagon’s program to use retired officers to push their message on network and cable news. These ex-military men would appear on television with titles like “military analyst,” without disclosing their ties to the Pentagon.

The newest Times article focuses on one man, retired General Barry McCaffrey. It documents McCaffrey’s various deals with the Pentagon and financial stake in defense contractors. Suffice to say, McCaffrey stood to profit enormously from pushing the Iraq war and eventual escalation. According to the article, McCaffrey has made over 1,000 appearances on NBC and NBC owned stations as an “unbiased military analyst”, never once with a disclaimer about his financial ties to the war machine.

NBC needs to come clean about this entire mess. At the very least, they should cease bringing McCaffrey on the air. I’ve said before that I don’t particularly mind biased news sources, as long as those biases are out in the open for people to see. As consumers of news in an age of information overload, we need as much information as possible to sift through the garbage.


  1. Ian

    OK, well, in this case if the guy is working for contracts and you allow his bias as long as he is in the open, its basically allowing free advertising. Personally, I think the news should be free of advertising. Honestly though, its not so surprising that a guy who made general would maintain some ties to the military, and its laughable to expect a general to be unbiased about it.

  2. Chris

    You should definitely read the NY Times article. It’s incredible the depth of this guy’s shilling…