Arianna and the military pooh-bahs

Well, Arianna Huffington has it right. Where are the mainstream media when it comes to looking at the relationship with the TV talking-head military pooh-bahs and the Pentagon?

The New York Times broke this story April 20. I’ll let Huffington provide the overview in her post “Shameful Days: Why Won’t the Media Pursue the Pentagon Propaganda Scandal?”

“On April 20th, the New York Times published its expose of the Bush administration’s use of Pentagon-approved, prepped, and financially-enriched ‘military analysts’ to appear on TV to sell the invasion of Iraq, and then put a positive spin on the occupation — even as conditions on the ground deteriorated.”

And the point?

“How big a story was it? John Stauber of the Center for Media and Democracy called it the Pentagon Papers of the Iraq war.

“So it only stands to reason that a story this explosive would quickly become the subject of extensive follow-ups by TV and print journalists, and endless debate on the political talk shows,  right?

“Wrong.

“Instead of opening their reportorial and analytical floodgates, the mainstream media have all but ignored the story.”

Arianna Huffington has it right — although she failed to mention my April 22 post on this subject, “The New York Times and military pooh-bahs.” But, hey. At least I tried. It doesn’t appear that many others did.

That’s a disgrace. Or as Huffington says, “The last ten days have been among the most shameful in the history of American journalism.”

Given that we just celebrated the fifth anniversary of the great “Mission Accomplished” spectacle, it’s hard to make the case that the last 10 days have been among the most shameful in American journalism.  As usual, I digress.

But maybe it speaks to why more and more people are turning to sites such as The Huffington Post and The Drudge Report for news and commentary. The New York Times reports that The Huffington Post in February had 3.7 million unique visitors, according to Nielsen Online.

Yet here’s the rub. It takes the resources of the titans of journalism — The Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, etc. — to investigate and publish these kind of stories. And maybe in an era of declining newspaper circulation and increased pressure on financial results it’s no longer worth the effort. If that’s true, we’re in deep doo-doo.

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One response to “Arianna and the military pooh-bahs

  1. Pingback: Bloggers, PR and spam « PR on the run

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