CBS Should Bring Back General Batiste

CBS should bring General Batiste back to the airwaves because he is an authoritative, informed and important voice on Iraq and all military matters.

As a commander in Iraq, he has particular knowledge of the battlefield, the strategy, the troops and the policy.

Having made a television ad for a change in Iraq policy, General Batiste’s interest is the most visibly disclosed in American television, an arena where “guests” and “consultants” regularly have draconian, undisclosed conflicts of interest.

Keep in mind, General Batiste left the military in protest against policies he could not support, and America would be a better place if others had done the same. Retired generals often make small fortunes in the private sector, exploiting their military background, and by speaking out General Batiste gave away substantial personal wealth by alienating many potential sources of income.

If CBS and the other television organizations, network and cable, want to demonstrate true integrity they would require all guests and consultants to disclose all sources of income from military and politics-related sources.

Are they paid to lobby?

Do they receive consultant contracts from defense-related companies or others?

Do they serve on boards of any companies that do business with government?

Many do, making substantial money, and this is almost never disclosed to the audience, in which case they have great conflicts of interests that viewers are not informed of.

General Batiste’s views are wise, informed and important, and his perspectives and interests are known to all. He should be brought back by CBS.

Others appear on television with interests that remain secret. Either those interests should be disclosed, or such guests should not appear on television until the audience is fully aware and informed of them.