06/07/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Did Press "Enable" Run-Up To War? Couric, McLellan, Yellin Say Yes

In his new memoir, "What Happened," Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary, said the national news media neglected their watchdog role in the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, calling reporters "complicit enablers" of the Bush administration's push for war.

Surprisingly, some prominent journalists have agreed.

Katie Couric, the anchor of "CBS Evening News," said on Wednesday that she had felt pressure from government officials and corporate executives to cast the war in a positive light.

Speaking on "The Early Show" on CBS, Ms. Couric said the lack of skepticism shown by journalists about the Bush administration's case for war amounted to "one of the most embarrassing chapters in American journalism." She also said she sensed pressure from "the corporations who own where we work and from the government itself to really squash any kind of dissent or any kind of questioning of it." At the time, Ms. Couric was a host of "Today" on NBC.

Another broadcast journalist also weighed in. Jessica Yellin, who worked for MSNBC in 2003 and now reports for CNN, said on Wednesday that journalists had been "under enormous pressure from corporate executives, frankly, to make sure that this was a war presented in a way that was consistent with the patriotic fever in the nation."

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