Military analysts and the public

I'm Sam Levenback. I'm a blogger and a student in Washington, DC. Jonathan has been kind enough to let me help out on the weekends.

This morning's New York Times features a disturbing article that untangles the role of military analysts appearing on network and cable television. These analysts are presented as neutral experts, but most are, in fact, taking their talking points directly from the Department of Defense. Additionally, plenty of these pundits also serve as lobbyists and consultants who crave access to the Pentagon for their business interests. The conflict of interest is pretty clear cut.

I'm not even going to voice any outrage towards the Administration. It's hardly shocking. Personally, I think the real thrust of this story is the utter incompetence of cable news and the networks. This isn't a case of shifty ideological bias or yielding to administration bullying. It's old-fashioned incompetence.

In memos, emails, and transcriptsposted by The New York Times, we see a coordinated effort to dupe television producers and talking heads. Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer, and Bill O'Reilly are all mentioned by name. It's absolutely humiliating. These are supposed to be journalists, and yet they've been consistently duped by their own military analysts, their own employees. They've been paying experts to come on their shows and give misleading commentary.

"CNN, for example, said it was unaware for nearly three years that one of its main military analysts, General Marks, was deeply involved in the business of seeking government contracts, including contracts related to Iraq. General Marks was hired by CNN in 2004, about the time he took a management position at McNeil Technologies, where his job was to pursue military and intelligence contracts. As required, General Marks disclosed that he received income from McNeil Technologies. But the disclosure form did not require him to describe what his job entailed, and CNN acknowledges it failed to do additional vetting. "We did not ask Mr. Marks the follow-up questions we should have," CNN said in a written statement. In an interview, General Marks said it was no secret at CNN that his job at McNeil Technologies was about winning contracts. "I mean, that's what McNeil does," he said."

It's just so embarrassing. And yet it's also another sad chapter in the media's complete failure to deal equitably and honestly with the Bush Administration.

Tags: CNN, Department of Defense, Fox News, MSM (all tags)

Comments

6 Comments

Re: Military analysts and the public

I read that article.  More exposure of how the war was sold to us and how the media collaberated in hiding the truth of the occupation.  4000 deaths and 3 trillion dollars (George Stiglitz estimate).

Where was the emdia?

Where were the Democrats?

by TomP 2008-04-20 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Military analysts and the public

Moveon was right...

Gen. Betrayus

Year 2 of the "Surge"
http://icasualties.org/oif/

by nogo war 2008-04-20 02:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Military analysts and the public

Whats even worse Sean Is the fact that the media is failing to cover the stories behind the wounded vets that come home from Iraq.  It's like a bomb exploded in Iraq killing a "few dozen people," I'm like is that what we have resorted to?  Labeling people like egg cartons.  I can't believe the GOP is still in denial over the disasterous ramifications of Iraq.

by nzubechukwu 2008-04-20 03:12PM | 0 recs
The media have a lot

to account for.

They delivered Bush into our arms in 2000 thanks to their incessant, gleeful trashing of Al Gore.  They acted as cheerleaders for the administration in the run-up to the war (Judith Miller et al) and then glorified the mission for months until it became patently clear that we had been hoodwinked.

Now this.  

What a shame.

by Radiowalla 2008-04-20 03:19PM | 0 recs
I'm so glad this is finally coming to light.

Ordinary citizens knew we were being duped (at least many of us did) yet the media continued on the same path.

I can't remember the name of the organization that rates freedom of the press internationally but I do remember that the U.S. has taken a serious drop with respect to other countries in recent years.

Damn it, I'm sick of greedy bastards.  We want our country back!

by GFORD 2008-04-20 04:24PM | 0 recs
Pentagon Propaganda Revealed

This article is quite detailed and is based on 8,000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts, and records obtained through a Times lawsuit. I think this revelation provides us with a golden opportunity: this article reveals in great detail exactly how the Pentagon has deliberately lied to the American public for the past 6 years about virtually everything about the Iraq War. After reading this article, I can't imagine any rational person not feeling like they have been lied to and being angry about that.

We need to publicize this article as much as we are able and use it in discussion with the TV networks, newspapers, National Public Radio, and Congressmembers to challenge the "conventional wisdom" about Iraq (and Iran) which is now quite obviously revealed as complete propaganda. I hope we can also get the media to go back and examine the Downing Street memo, Scott Ritter's testimony, and other smoking gun evidence that the media has mostly ignored in the past.

by RandomNonviolence 2008-04-20 07:57PM | 0 recs

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