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Jessica Yellin — currently a CNN correspondent who covered the White House for ABC News and MSNBC in 2002 and 2003 — was on with Anderson Cooper last night discussing Scott McClellan’s book, and made one of the most significant admissions heard on television in quite some time:

JESSICA YELLIN, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I think the press corps dropped the ball at the beginning. When the lead-up to the war began, the press corps was under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war that was presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation and the president’s high approval ratings.

And my own experience at the White House was that, the higher the president’s approval ratings, the more pressure I had from news executives — and I was not at this network at the time — but the more pressure I had from news executives to put on positive stories about the president.

Continue reading:  http://www.salon.com/2008/05/29/yellin/

Related stories:

Buying the War: how the media failed by buying whatever the White House was selling about the Iraq War

Chris Matthews’ role in MSNBC’s firing of Phil Donahue (who was against the Iraq War)

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