If you thought the US media had hit a new low with last week’s ABC Debate Debacle, read Sunday’s New York Times’s 10,000 (plus) word cover story, "Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand."
Using 8000 pages of e-mail messages, transcripts and records, accessed through suing the Pentagon, the NYT report exposes the Pentagon’s propaganda machine, its control over access and information, and its selling of the "war on terror" –beginning with the buildup to the Iraq war. As someone posting here put it, Goebbels would be proud.
This was an all out effort at the highest levels of the Bush Administration, continuing to this day, to dupe, mislead and lie to the American people– using propaganda dressed up and cherry-picked as independent military analysis. As one participant described it, " it was psyops on steroids."
In its rigorous documentation of the relationship between the government, the networks and retired military analysts, the lineaments of the corrosive structure and impact of a new military-media-industrial complex are exposed. This corrupt complex demands investigation by all relevant Congressional committees–from Intelligence to Armed Services. The networks must also be held accountable for their role in duping Americans. MoveOn, Media Matters, Free Press, FAIR and other media and democracy groups should demand that networks fire those analysts who concealed their links and then refuse to hire analysts, military or other, without full conflict of interest disclosures. (They should also open up the airwaves, which belong to the people, to a full range of views!) As for these military analysts-they should be hauled up before the judgment of the institution they claim to revere and represent. As one post put it, these corrupt men –all men, it seems–violated a sacred trust, putting their wallet, their access and the Pentagon above their duty and honor to the men and women they claim to revere.
Some of the key findings in the New York Times story:
*"Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they were asked to assess on air."
* "These business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves."
*"Analysts have been wooed in hundreds of private briefings with senior military officials, including officials with significant influence over contracting and budget matters."