US corporate media are currently inundated with former US intelligence agents who appear as expert commentators and pundits on programs broadcast by NBC News, CBS News, and CNN, AJ Nelson reported for We Are Change in October 2019. “Reborn as cable news pundits,” former national security officials continue to “carry out their imperial duties” by “propagandizing the public” on corporate news platforms, Nelson wrote.
These individuals—including former CIA Director John Brennan, who is now a national security and intelligence analyst for NBC News; Jim Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, and now a CNN analyst; and Fran Townsend, a former homeland security advisor to George W. Bush who appears as security analyst on CBS News—act as spokespersons for their former employers under the guise of reliability and truthfulness. Their public influence is bolstered by their credentials as former intelligence and security officials.
It is no surprise that the corporate news media have not covered this story. One noteworthy exception involved the resignation of reporter and analyst William Arkin, who worked for NBC News. When he left the network, early in 2019, he lambasted his former employer in memo that circulated widely. Among the complaints in Arkin’s memo was his dismay that news networks employ former government officials “who masquerade as ‘analysts.’” Notably, Arkin’s memo is not to be found on the NBC News website.
Source: AJ Nelson, “US Media Now Filled With Former Intelligence Agents,” wearechange.org, October 5, 2019, https://wearechange.org/us-media-now-filled-with-former-intelligence-agents/.
Student Researcher: Bryan Louie (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Peter Phillips (Sonoma State University)