Sunday, as you probably know, the New York Times published a very lengthy story of how several ostensibly "independent" military analysts employed by the news media turned out to be shills of the Department of Defense and their individual defense contractors who employed them.
If that was all there was, it was bad enough…except to the never surrendering war whore, like Max Boot. Funny how a man who has been making excuses for more than five years doesn’t change his opinion for anything — especially it’s profitable & safe to not change. But then Boot was bought and sold at least as long as these other gentlemen…and he likes it
…it’s no secret that the Pentagon–and every other branch of government–routinely provides background briefings to journalists…and tries to influence their coverage by carefully doling out access. … All this is part and parcel of the daily grind of Washington journalism in which the Times is, of course, a leading participant.
Oh, don’t be so modest, Max, you are at the pinnacle of the Pyramid when it comes to having your shilling doled out to you in easy cut & paste form.
But even more, Boot just plain ignores the heart of what the Times piece was all about, as Think Progress noted:
Hardly run-of-the-mill briefings, Rumsfeld and his staff planted friendly analysts into the media while expressly forbidding them from revealing their ties to the Pentagon and used lucrative defense contracts as their leverage.
* “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…Bevelacqua, then a Fox analyst, was among those invited to a briefing in early 2003 about Iraq’s purported stockpiles of illicit weapons. … Mr. [Robert] Maginnis said he concluded that the analysts were being ‘manipulated’ to convey a false sense of certainty about the evidence of the weapons. Yet he and Mr. Bevelacqua and the other analysts who attended the briefing did not share any misgivings with the American public.
* As conditions in Iraq deteriorated, [Kenneth] Allard recalled, he saw a yawning gap between what analysts were told in private briefings and what subsequent inquiries and books later revealed.
“Night and day,” Mr. Allard said, “I felt we’d been hosed.”
And my personal favorite for bad taste and outright assholery:
* Again and again, records show, the administration has enlisted analysts as a rapid reaction force to rebut what it viewed as critical news coverage, some of it by the networks’ own Pentagon correspondents. For example, when news articles revealed that troops in Iraq were dying because of inadequate body armor, a senior Pentagon official wrote to his colleagues: “I think our analysts — properly armed — can push back in that arena.”
Max Boot seriously needs to be visited by Smedley Butler’s ghost.
So who is going to ask John McCain, who has long been pumping the same talking points, about this?