Military analysts named in Times exposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN, JEREMY SCHULMAN, ANDREW WALZER, MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER, LAUREN AUERBACH, TOM ALLISON, MEREDITH ADAMS, MARK BOCHKIS, KIRSTIN ELLISON & LILY YAN

A New York Times article detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries, reporting that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.

On April 20, The New York Times published an article by investigative reporter David Barstow that detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries. Barstow reported that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts, many of whom have clients or work for companies with an interest in obtaining Pentagon contracts, "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in Barstow's article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR in segments covering the Iraq war both before and after the invasion, as well as numerous other national security or government policy issues.

A spreadsheet listing each of the analysts' appearances documented by Media Matters is available here.

The following chart lists 20 analysts included in Barstow's article, the network or networks on which each analyst appeared, and the number of appearances made by each analyst since January 1, 2002, as tabulated by Media Matters:

Military analyst

Networks

Number of appearances identified by Media Matters

David L. Grange

CNN, CNN Headline News

921

Donald W. Shepperd

CNN

713

Barry R. McCaffrey

NBC, MSNBC, CNBC

642

James Marks

CNN

299

Rick Francona

NBC, MSNBC, CNBC

296

Wayne A. Downing

NBC, MSNBC, CNBC

270

Robert H. Scales Jr.

Fox News, National Public Radio

176 (Fox News)

73 (NPR)*

William V. Cowan

Fox News

189

Kenneth Allard

NBC, MSNBC, CNBC

180

Thomas G. McInerney

Fox News

144

Montgomery Meigs

NBC, MSNBC, CNBC

125

Robert L. Maginnis

Fox News

113

William L. Nash

ABC, ABC News Now

96

Paul E. Vallely

Fox News

81

Charles T. Nash

Fox News

54

Robert S. Bevelacqua

Fox News

48

Jeffrey D. McCausland

CBS, CBS Radio Network

43

Timur J. Eads

Fox News

28

Joseph W. Ralston

CBS, CBS Radio Network

19

John C. Garrett

Fox News

8

NOTE: Transcripts for all programs on CNN are available in the Nexis database, but for the other cable news networks transcripts are available for only some shows.

*This figure includes 31 appearances from 2005 and later, when -- according to NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik -- Scales was no longer serving as an official NPR consultant but rather was an unpaid guest.

Methodology

Media Matters used the Nexis database to tabulate appearances by analysts on networks with which they were affiliated that included discussions of issues related to national security or U.S. government policy. Instances in which analysts appeared on networks other than those with which they were affiliated were not counted. Media Matters counted as appearances both instances in which an analyst appeared as a guest on a show -- either live during the show, or in a pre-taped interview aired during the show -- and instances in which a report included a clip of an analyst's commentary. The study was limited to appearances made after January 1, 2002.

Re-airings of news programs in their entirety were excluded from the study. However, instances in which the same report, interview, or quote was aired on different shows or more than once during the course of the same program were counted as separate appearances in this study. If an analyst appeared several separate times during the same show, Media Matters counted each one as a distinct appearance.

Nexis includes transcripts for all news programs on CNN but for the other cable news networks transcripts are available for only some shows; appearances on programs whose transcripts do not appear in Nexis were not included in this study.

Finally, the Times article reported that some of the analysts "pointed out, accurately, that they did not always agree with the administration or each other" and that "[m]any analysts strongly denied that they had either been co-opted or had allowed outside business interests to affect their on-air comments, and some have used their platforms to criticize the conduct of the war." In conducting this study, Media Matters did not assess whether individual instances of commentary -- or the analysts themselves -- were supportive of administration policy.

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