Tv Reporters Weigh In On What Happened?
CNN congressional correspondent Jessica Yellin appeared to be backing away from her comments Wednesday night that in the months leading up to the invasion of Iraq, reporters, herself included, were "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." Her remarks came during a discussion on Anderson Cooper's CNN show concerning former White House press secretary Scott McClellan's new book, What Happened? On a CNN blog today, Yellin conceded that in early 2003, while then working for ABC, she was never asked to change a line in her scripts. "I did not mean to leave the impression that corporate executives were interfering in my daily work," Yellin said, "My interaction was with senior producers. What was clear to me is that many people running the broadcasts wanted coverage that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the country at the time. It was clear to me they wanted their coverage to reflect the mood of the country." Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that McClellan received an advance of only $75,000 from the little-known publisher PublicAffairs after leading publishing houses turned the book down. Almost overnight it has topped Amazon's best-seller list, and the publisher has doubled its printing from 65,000 to 130,000.