Our Propagandists (2) ~ A "dour fraternity of deceitful military cretins"*
Wesley K. Clark, center; Wayne A. Downing; Montgomery Meigs,
right; and Barry R. McCaffrey, foreground. Copyright 2008,
The New York Times Company.
Well, the good folks over at Democracy Now! and The Nation have been covering the story from The New York Times last week concerning the seeding of Television "News" broadcasts at the major networks and cable outlets with allegedly expert and independent military analysts who, in fact, had been taking direct marching orders form the Pentagon. The initial story from The Times is here. I posted on it here. The follow-ups I just mentioned are here and here. The follow up stories in more mainstream outlets, like CNN, ABC, CBC, Fox, NBC, CNBC, and MSNBC are ... well, completely missing.
I am shocked! Well, a Google search earlier this evening indicates that some newspapers and even CNN have covered the story about how the Pentagon has discontinued briefings with the T.V. analysts, some of who had lobbying and other financial ties with military contractors. In other words, they are covering the Pentagon's response to the story. But none, as far as I can determine, has addressed how their analysts connived with the pentagon to justify military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nor, to the best of my knowledge, has any of the major media outlets addressed their own culpability for neglecting (as a polite way of putting ti) to inquire into the contacts and background of the alleged experts they had hired.
Remember how many Americans were buying the BushCo line about the need to invade Iraq and then about how much progress was being made once we'd invaded. It seemed easy to deride public opinion then. But now the numbers seem quite reasonable because, quite simply, not only the Bush administration, but the media and their "pundits" were quite simply purveying bullshit by the shovel full. Peddling propaganda like this surely is ethically dubious (to be generous) and quite likely illegal. Keep an eye on the campaign at FreePress.net to pressure Congress to initiate inquiries into this practice.
* My subtitle is lifted from Mark Morford's column "All The President's Liars" at SFGate (at The San Francisco Chronicle). I couldn't say it better myself, so why try.