Anyway, I wanted to point you to this must-read New York Times article regarding a massive propaganda campaign set up by the Pentagon. We're all familiar with the friendly "military analysts" that have been gracing the airwaves and our televisions with their objective experience since prior to the war. Turns out? Not so objective:
Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found.
To those of us that have had our eyes open these past seven years, this isn't really a huge surprise. But if you read the whole thing (and you really should), you will be left with that familiar little sting of having your soul crushed just once more. I think my favorite part involves the "analysts" that knew they were peddling crap, but did it anyway because they didn't want to lose their business access. Gotta love that integrity!
The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air.
As for familiar faces, long time 360 viewers might be bummed to know that when it comes to conflicts of interest, General James "Spider" Marks seems to have been one of the conflictiest of all:
Aw Spider, say it ain't so. For the record, CNN let him go in 2007 after reviewing his disclosure form. Anyway, like I said, give the whole thing a read. Because methinks this story will not be coming to a news network near you. Just a hunch.
CNN, for example, said it was unaware for nearly three years that one of its main military analysts, General Marks, was deeply involved in the business of seeking government contracts, including contracts related to Iraq.
General Marks was hired by CNN in 2004, about the time he took a management position at McNeil Technologies, where his job was to pursue military and intelligence contracts. As required, General Marks disclosed that he received income from McNeil Technologies. But the disclosure form did not require him to describe what his job entailed, and CNN acknowledges it failed to do additional vetting.
And because I hate to leave you all with a downer, I shall share a little 360-related aw-worthiness that I stumbled upon on one of my random trips surfing the interwebs. I spy some bi-partisan lip-action (fourth pic up from the bottom.) Aren't they cute? But let's keep tongues from wagging because that there's a platonic smooch.
I should be back reviewing for Monday's show. Pennsylvania is just around the corner. Thank God! Something is actually going to happen. What that something is, well, that's anybody's guess.