The New York Times newspaper reports the Pentagon used military analysts working for U.S. television networks to generate favorable coverage of the war in Iraq and other issues.

The newspaper Sunday said the analysts were invited to private briefings with senior military leaders, taken on tours of Iraq and given access to classified intelligence.

The Times also said viewers were not made aware that most of the analysts have ties to military contractors. Many of the analysts are retired high-ranking military officials.

The report says the companies included large defense businesses and smaller companies that had a vested interest in the war policies the analysts discussed.

The Times quotes a Pentagon spokesman, Bryan Whitman, as saying the analysts had been given only factual information about the war.

The newspaper says it based its report on 8,000 email messages, transcripts and records it secured after winning a lawsuit against the Pentagon.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.