Cable news outlets are relying on defense industry consultants and war profiteers to give their audiences information about international conflicts, and the problem has reached a peak with the conflict between Israel and Palestine. But these networks don’t ever bother to tell their viewers that they are hearing propaganda from the men who profit off the carnage. Mike Papantonio & Farron Cousins discuss more.


*This transcript was generated by a third-party transcription software company, so please excuse any typos.

Mike Papantonio: Cable news outlets are relying on defense industry consultants and their war profiteers to give their audience information about international conflicts and the problem has reached a peak with the conflict between Israel and Palestine. But these networks don’t even bother to tell their viewers that they’re hearing propaganda, pure propaganda from the men who profit off the coverage and the carnage. Ring of Fire’s Farron Cousins joins me now to talk about what’s happening. God, this is maybe the only thing that saves CNN. I mean, save ’em for a little while, as long as the war lasts. Have you ever seen such a disgusting process, though? I saw it with Ukraine. Ukraine, parade in all of these people. Make ’em sound like they have all of these qualifications, and don’t tell ’em, don’t tell the viewing audience that oh, by the way, this person makes $250,000 a year just sitting on the board of Boeing. That’s what’s happening here. No disclosure whatsoever.

Farron Cousins: Yeah. As usual, the folks at the Lever did a phenomenal job exposing this, and one of the worst offenders right now is MSNBC.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, terrible.

Farron Cousins: They keep bringing on this guy Jeremy Bash. And Mr. Bash, they’re like, oh, he’s a foreign policy expert. Trust us, Mr. Bash, he knows everything there is about everything that’s happening. Well, I’m sure he does, because Mr. Bash is actually getting a ton of money from the defense industry.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah, and has been.

Farron Cousins: Right. And sits on the boards, part of these consultancy groups that are really just front groups for these massive defense contractors, because that is where all the money comes from.

Mike Papantonio: Okay. So they’re on the board, they’re on the board for a reason. Raytheon puts ’em on the board because they know they’re talking heads, and they don’t mind paying them 250, $500,000 a year to be their talking heads. But by, there should be a responsibility of the network to say, look, what you’re listening to could be construed as propaganda. What you’re listening to by Jeremy Bash, first of all, was mostly. When he delivered what he was saying, it was nonsense. And if you followed what he was saying and followed up on what he was saying, it was pure nonsense. But the point is, MSNBC is shameless about this. They don’t really care, just like Fox, just like CNN, you’re seeing these people everywhere that are showing up and they’re just rattling the sabers of war like they did with Ukraine. It was worse with Ukraine than it is right now. And nobody paid any attention to that.

Farron Cousins: Well, and one of the big things that is so frustrating about this is the viewers have no idea. If you’re watching MSNBC or CNN and Fox News, you’re probably not the kind of person that’s gonna go and read this report from the Lever. So you’re not gonna know that you’re sitting there getting this defense industry propaganda from people who, it doesn’t matter which country it is. They’ll rattle the sabers against Russia, against China, against North Korea, and sure, a lot of those countries are bad. But that doesn’t mean we need to go and send tanks and bombs and planes and start World War III. But that is what these people deep down want, because that’s the way they make money.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. They’re rewarded according to if Raytheon sells more missiles, they make more money. Look, if you think, this is not even a hidden handshake. This is go out there, Dennis Ross, ambassador ex, Dennis Ross on Meet the Press. Okay. Nobody says, well, Mr. Ross, this is some pretty strong language you’re using right now. Tell us about your affiliation with WestExec. Right? Talk about that. Tell us about your affiliation with this company that makes a ton of money for being the mouthpiece for every weapons manufacturer on the globe. Not a word is said, even on something like Meet the Press that you would hope is maybe a little higher standard, not much, but a little higher standard within NBC.

Farron Cousins: Right. And WestExec is just one of these many consultancy groups, because that’s how they label themselves. And they get their money from Raytheon. They get their money from Boeing. And then we’ve thrown to commercial here and suddenly it’s a commercial for Boeing. Like, oh, look at our new jet engines. Well, why are you advertising a jet engine? That doesn’t make any sense to me.

Mike Papantonio: You gonna buy a jet engine or maybe buy a missile? You gonna go buy a missile? Because look, that’s part of the deal. Raytheon, give us your advertising dollars. We’re gonna put on your war. Your war, Dennis Ross, is gonna show up, and he’s gonna encourage more war in Ukraine. He’s gonna encourage more war in the Mid East. And it’s a deal that you would think they’d even, they don’t even keep it quiet. The only people who keep it quiet is the people that have ’em on talking this propaganda and these talking heads, the hosts, don’t have enough sense to say, tell me about your relationship with Raytheon. Right?

Farron Cousins: Right. And honestly, that’s probably the biggest problem at all, because these people, they develop audiences, audiences who trust them.

Mike Papantonio: Yeah. And that’s unfortunate.

Farron Cousins: They tune into these corporate media outlets and they say, I watch this person because I know they’re gonna tell me the truth. And they’re not. This person is not telling you that this other person on the side of the camera, whether it’s somebody that the host chose, or maybe the host was told, you have to talk to these people. Now, this kind of seems like this instance where one of these hosts needs to take a stand. I get it. You get lots of money from it. But come clean. Say on the air, listen, say, look, I’m probably gonna be cut off in a few minutes, but let me tell you what’s happening.

Mike Papantonio: Well, they would lose their millions of dollars. The host would lose their millions of dollars of money that they’re paid to keep their mouth shut. That the person across the table with them is nothing but a war. A war pimp that wants more war because he’s working for Raytheon, he’s working for the weapons industry. And the interviewer doesn’t have enough character, doesn’t have enough class to say, you know what, I listen to what you’re saying, but you work for Raytheon, don’t you? Raytheon pays you $500,000 a year, don’t they? Don’t even ask the question. It’s the most disgusting issue that’s happening right now. Right now we have become a nation that makes all, that our economy’s propped up with weapons. That’s what we do. We’re a weapons manufacturing, country. That’s where we make our money. That and pharmaceuticals. And this is just an extension. How about when Donahue got fired, right? All the way back to Donahue getting fired over Iraq when he said, this is nonsense, this is. Why are we invading Iraq when Saudi Arabia’s the people that that bombed, caused the bombing in 9/11?

Farron Cousins: Exactly. He, and all he did was ask the questions that should be asked and speak out against it, obviously. And they wasted no time, again, the liberal network wasted.

Mike Papantonio: Oh, liberal. I mean, liberals don’t even look like liberals anymore. I can’t, I don’t even recognize ’em anymore. Used to be we would talk about the right wing Republicans doing this kind of thing. Now Fox is doing it. But so is MSNBC, so is CNN, so is ABC, they’re all doing it without showing any shame whatsoever to say that this person you’re listening to has a direct interest in fomenting war and promoting war and keeping war alive. When Donahue did it, when he told the truth by God, he lost his job. Matter of fact, guy that I used to be law partner with, Joe Scarborough replaced him, and Joe was willing to say whatever the hell had to be said, just like he’s doing right now.

Mike Papantonio is an American attorney and television and radio talk show host. He is past president of The National Trial Lawyers, the most prestigious trial lawyer association in America; and is one of the few living attorneys inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame. He hosts the international television show "America's Lawyer"; and co-hosts Ring of Fire Radio, a nationally syndicated weekly radio program, with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and Sam Seder.