The propaganda scandal uncovered last week by the New York Times has been virtually blacked-out by the rest of the media – particularly television. Even though this may be the most brazen act of disinformation ever perpetrated against American citizens. Why would the press seemingly act in concert to bury this story?
It really doesn’t take much imagination to understand the panic these media outlets must be experiencing. The Pentagon-driven program of dispatching retired generals to serve as TV pundits with the intention of painting an artificially rosy picture of the war in Iraq poses a slippery dilemma. These TV networks were either pawns, dupes, or accomplices, in a scheme to mislead the country and enrich the players. Therefore, it is not surprising that the media has acted to sweep it all under the rug. To report on it would be to indict themselves.
Well, at least some of the candidates for president have finally weighed in:
Senator Clinton is very concerned by a recent press report that the Department of Defense (DOD) hid behind “an appearance of objectivity” in a concerted media “campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance.” The report raises issues of credibility and trust at the Pentagon.
Senator Obama is deeply disturbed by this latest evidence that the Bush Administration has sought to manipulate the public’s trust. From its misleading case to go to war with a country that had nothing to do with 9/11, to its argument for keeping our troops in Iraq indefinitely, the Administration has depended on spin because its assertions have not been supported by facts.
Both Democrats are calling for various levels of investigation. So is the Pentagon, whose spokesman has announced that they are temporarily suspending the program “pending further review.” The only candidate to fail to take a position is that straight-talking maverick, John McCain. Of course he may be the only public official who has been even more unquestioningly upbeat than the bought and paid for war spinners.
This isn’t over. It is still possible to get the press to be responsible and to perform their duty to inform the public. Write letters and emails to any national and/or local media outlet you patronize. And be sure to visit FreePress where they are collecting signatures to urge Congress to further investigate this breach of the public trust.