wasting bandwidth since 1999

Expertise (aka Propaganda)

Anyone who believes that military experts constantly popping up on the talking heads channels are providing “expert” information needs to read this article from today’s New York Times.

Analysts have been wooed in hundreds of private briefings with senior military leaders, including officials with significant influence over contracting and budget matters, records show. They have been taken on tours of Iraq and given access to classified intelligence. They have been briefed by officials from the White House, State Department and Justice Department, including Mr. Cheney, Alberto R. Gonzales and Stephen J. Hadley.

In turn, members of this group have echoed administration talking points, sometimes even when they suspected the information was false or inflated. Some analysts acknowledge they suppressed doubts because they feared jeopardizing their access.

A few expressed regret for participating in what they regarded as an effort to dupe the American public with propaganda dressed as independent military analysis.

“It was them saying, ‘We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you,’ ” Robert S. Bevelacqua, a retired Green Beret and former Fox News analyst, said.

It seems that many of the retired generals are also working for companies that sell equipment and services to the military, something that the networks don’t bother to tell the viewer.

But why should these guys be different from most of the other heads that present themselves as “experts” while actually selling themselves and/or their employers.

It’s a long article but worth the time.

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2 Comments

  1. gs

    Sounds like anti-propaganda propaganda to me.

  2. Dave

    I think part of the problem that some traditional media outlets are having making ends meet is how online media has an advantage in situations like this. You have to put a lot of trust in the evening news since there’s no easily available counterpoints, but when I read a blog, I can check the comments and look for alternate opinions to get the whole picture…which ends up making me trust the original blog more.

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