January 14, 2015

The Intercept's Jeremy Scahill slammed CNN, MSNBC & Fox News for indulging in what he calls the "terrorism expert industrial complex." That's the hiring practice of putting on people who claim to be experts in all things related to terrorism, but in reality are "frauds," who are just around to line their pockets with gold.

Journalist and documentarian Jeremy Scahill confronted CNN International host Hala Gorani on Tuesday with his harsh criticism of both some world leaders showing solidarity toward France and her network’s handling of the recent terrorist attacks in the country.

“Hypocrisy was on full display on Sunday, with all of these world leaders; many of them are enemies of the press, themselves,” Scahill said.

“I also think that CNN and MSNBC and Fox are engaging in the terrorism expert industrial complex. You have people on as paid analysts that are largely frauds who have made a lot of money off of portraying themselves as terror experts, and have no actual on-the-ground experience.

Good for him. The cable news industry creates "niche experts" in most fields of politics for convenience more than anything else, but it's the public that suffers.

You may remember when The NY Times uncovered a Pentagon propaganda project that used former generals on TV to push their agenda: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand

To the public, these men are members of a familiar fraternity, presented tens of thousands of times on television and radio as “military analysts” whose long service has equipped them to give authoritative and unfettered judgments about the most pressing issues of the post-Sept. 11 world.

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.

Howrd Kurtz did a great segment on this story when he got Colonel Ken Allard to admit to a conflict of interest:

KURTZ: Do you think it was a conflict of interest of some of your fellow former officers to be in that kind of a...

ALLARD: I absolutely do, because the reason why you're there is to offer the public, for whatever the reason you have, however good you are, whatever your opinion matters, is an honest opinion. You offer that without any hope of remuneration, without any hope of reward. That's basically -- the reward you're getting is what CNN, Fox or NBC News pays you to be there. That's it.

KURTZ: Fox analyst Tim Eads was quoting as saying that when he talked about the war or terrorism on television, he held his tongue for fear that "... some four-star could call up and say, 'Kill that contract.'" He was involved in military contracts.

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