March 30, 2009

On CNN's State of the Union show Sundays, they have their "Best Political Team on Television" segment, which pits different pundits who we see all week on CNN in roundtable discussions on several topics. In a discussion about the budget, the panel said that some budget cuts were needed and President Obama is going to seriously look at the military. Barbara Starr then said a bad word on TV:

KING: And Barbara, he's asking the Pentagon to come in with a smaller bottom line, even as he sends more troops to Afghanistan, says he wants to grow the army and grow the Marine Corps. So something's got to give, and most people think if you are going to get that money, you've got to get a big weapons program.

BARBARA STARR: Well, that's what Secretary Gates is saying, that he's going to make real deep cuts in all of this. But you know with the president taking off this week for the big trip to Europe, half of it is the economic agenda with the G-20, half of it is with NATO. He's got to take something to Europe and say to the Europeans, a lot of people think, here's what I want to have happen. He can't go and just listen. And so he's going with both the economic agenda and the security agenda and a lot of folks are watching to see what he actually comes back with.

KING: And in terms of the Pentagon finding something to cut, whether it's the F-22, whether it's something else down the road, when are we going to know?

STARR: That's being worked on in those 17.5 miles of Pentagon hallways right now. Nobody's talking about it, but you can sure bet that the lobbyists are scurrying all over Capitol Hill already.

YELLIN: Lobbyists?

KING: Lobbyists?

YELLIN: Bad word.

STARR: The defense contractors, they're trying to preserve everything they can.

We spend billions of dollars on weapons programs that we do not need, but the "lobbyists" will try to protect their precious contracts. Starr quickly pivoted to "defense contractors" instead of using their proper name: Lobbyists. Is there an attempt by TV talking heads to cover up for lobbyists? Will we now hear them referred to as "contractors?"

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