Concerns rise over state run media operation ahead of 2012 election
July 11, 2011
CNN has been caught in a conflict of interest as it has emerged that a significant member of Barack Obama’s reelection campaign staff is still working for the network as an independent political analyst.
Speaking to The New York Daily News, an unnamed Washington insider has expressed concern over the fact that Obama data expert Cornell Belcher is still on the CNN payroll.
“It’s a great gig to be paid by CNN so that you can promote your clients,” the anonymous source told the Daily News. “But for the Most Trusted Name in News, it doesn’t work.”
Belcher played a core role in Obama’s 2008 election campaign, as he studied racial voting patterns and worked to extend and strengthen the Democrats’ ethnic base.
Belcher also conducted polling for the Democratic National Committee between 2005 to 2008.
In February CNN announced it was hiring Belcher, and the pollster has since appeared prominently on the network’s programming.
Then just two months later in April, The Washington Post reported that Belcher had been tapped up to work the Obama reelection effort.
A CNN spokesperson told the Daily News that at the moment Belcher is “not being paid by the Obama campaign. If he were,” she added, “he would not be permitted to be a CNN contributor.”
Move along, nothing to see here.
Another CNN insider added that Belcher’s employment would not represent a conflict of interest because he would not be acting as “an objective analyst” but as a “Democratic strategist”.
- A d v e r t i s e m e n t
Of course there are plenty of other so called “non-objective” analysts dotted around the other networks.
When placed in context with the White House’s stated intention, via Obama regulatory czar Cass Sunstein, to initiate “cognitive infiltration” of the media, the picture becomes clear.
Furthermore, back in February Devin Dwyer of ABC News broke ranks and expressed his concerns over a move by Obama’s press office to establish a “state run media” operation to frame White House messages ahead of the 2012 election.
“As the 2012 presidential campaign kicks into gear, President Obama’s White House media operation is demonstrating an unprecedented ability to broadcast its message through social media and the Internet, at times doing an end-run around the traditional press.” Dwyer wrote.
The ABC journalist noted that the White House is creating and spreading news content as if it is an independent news source.
“The White House Press Office now not only produces a website, blog, YouTube channel, Flickr photo stream, and Facebook and Twitter profiles, but also a mix of daily video programming, including live coverage of the president’s appearances and news-like shows that highlight his accomplishments.”
Dwyer noted that the White House is even blocking the traditional media from events such as signing of the new START treaty with Russia and Obama’s post-State of the Union cabinet meeting.
There are clear and legitimate concerns that the White House is engaged in undermining what little remains of the free press and stifling alternative viewpoints.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.