Howard Kurtz covered the Military General propaganda story that the NY Times story uncovered last Sunday morning and did a very good job with it. (I'm usually fairly critical of him) Colonel Ken Allard, a former military analyst for NBC, said that there certainly were conflicts of interest that these former Generals held when they went on TV as pundits selling the positive side of the Iraq war. Lawrence DiRita, the former Pentagon spokesman under Secretary Don Rumsfeld, was on to offer the "other side" of the issue. Sure thing, LDR. Kurtz did call him out:
" It sounds like you were kind of manipulating these folks."
DiRita had a good laugh at our expense over the fact that the Times called the propaganda manipulation war machine a "sophisticated program." That's really hysterical. This is a horrible affair that has led to so much destruction and broken lives that I don't know how DiRita can even show up on the set of CNN and sit there and still peddle his destructive talking point garbage. But Allard levied the real charges against the Generals and the Pentagon when he admitted:
KURTZ: Do you think it was a conflict of interest of some of your fellow former officers to be in that kind of a...
ALLARD: I absolutely do, because the reason why you're there is to offer the public, for whatever the reason you have, however good you are, whatever your opinion matters, is an honest opinion. You offer that without any hope of remuneration, without any hope of reward. That's basically -- the reward you're getting is what CNN, Fox or NBC News pays you to be there. That's it.
KURTZ: Fox analyst Tim Eads was quoting as saying that when he talked about the war or terrorism on television, he held his tongue for fear that "... some four-star could call up and say, 'Kill that contract.'" He was involved in military contracts.
Glenn Greenwald has a great piece posted which typifies that MSM's non-response to this story on Salon called: Brian Williams' "response" to the military analyst story
After I wrote about Williams' blog item yesterday, his blog was deluged with commenters angrily demanding to know why he has failed to address the NYT expose. In response, Williams wrote a new blog item last night in which he purports -- finally -- to respond to the story, and I can't recommend highly enough that it be read by anyone wanting to understand how our establishment journalist class thinks and acts. The essence of Williams' response: he did absolutely nothing wrong. Nor did any of the military analysts used by NBC News. Nor did his network. These are all honest, patriotic men whose integrity is beyond reproach. Here's but a sampling of Williams' defense...read on