May 10, 2008

I've been posting like crazy about the latest media/military propaganda scam that the NY Times broke a few weeks ago. You know, the one about the paid military generals-turned-analysts that the networks used to deceive the American public with so the Iraq war was such an easy sell. Since then we've found out that Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC and NBC failed to respond to a PBS request for comment which has resulted in virtually a complete media blackout, but which caused the the Defense Department to temporarily stop feeding information to retired military officers pending a review of the issue. Col. Allard admitted to CNN that there definitely was a conflict of interest---while Sen. Feingold questions the legality of it in a letter he wrote. Now it looks like we'll have some action because it seems that Harry Reid (h/t Glenn Greenwald) has been paying attention to the blogosphere's call for action:

Harry Reid was at the FDL Book Salon today and an FDL reader asked: " are you planning to hold hearings on the illegality of the Pentagon's propaganda training program of retired military officers?"

Reid responded: "The answer is yes. I have personally spoken to Chairman Levin and he is tremendously concerned as I. And we are proceeding accordingly."

Glenn Greenwald sheds more light on how the Pentagon was so very thrilled by these faux military experts.

The key issue here is that more and more, media analysts are having a greater impact on the television media network coverage of military issues. They have now become the go to guys not only for breaking stories, but they influence the views on issues. They also have a huge amount of influence on what stories the network decides to cover proactively with regard to the military. . . .

1.) I recommend we develop a core group from within our media analyst list of those that we can count on to carry our water. They become part of a "hot list" of those that we immediately make calls to or put on an email distro list before we contact or respond to media on hot on

Sickening, just sickening. Psy-ops, baby!

And I think we caught Lawrence Di Rita (the former Pentagon spokesman under Secretary Don Rumsfeld) lying on CNN with these new documents. Di Rita denies ginning up the militaryTV analyists to Kurtz:

KURTZ: Larry Di Rita, were you, the Pentagon, Don Rumsfeld, trying to get a positive message out through these TV analysts, these retired military men, who appeared to the viewer at home to be Independent?

LAWRENCE DI RITA, FMR. PENTAGON SPOKESMAN: Positive, no. I think our objective was a balance, a richer set of understandings. There was a general sense, and I think the public often -- it showed up in polls -- that they weren't getting the breadth of the story.

(click image to make larger)

Yet in this note that Glenn Greenwald found---he cheers on the talking points.

This is a thoughtful note. . . I think it makes a lot of sense to do as you suggest and I guess I thought we were already doing a lot of this in terms of quick contact, etc. . . We ought to be doing this, though, and we should not make the list too small .

I wonder how Kurtz would feel knowing he was lied to on air by Di Rita?I'll investigate further as the day goes on...

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.