It took a good deal of digging to put this story together. Nice sleuthing, but it loses some points, in my estimation, on a lack of backup evidence. Still, it's pretty hard to fault the work -- and you never know what happened in the editing process that may have cut out out material of interest.
Well presented article that could have been written as an expose, but is well researched and simply presented. It brings up the question about which other Bush administration agencies are also indulging in news management. An interesting side note is that these military analysts were flown in Cheney's plane.
This is a long a quite detailed story of the government's attempt manage public perception of activities associated with Iraq. It is apparently based on extensive interviews and review of a large volume of recently released documents. My personal prejudice is to consider it credible and the few specific quotes and references reinforce that view. Yet the story has a weakness in that, for the most part, it says what the documents indicate rather than quoting or referencing specific documents. If the record were more visible, it would be more difficult for one to claim that the reporter had distorted it.
This investigative report is about war analysts efforts to convince the majority of Americans who were calling the war on Iraq a mistake. Americans in 2005 started expressing concerns and criticism over Guantánamo Bay, which led to investigations and analysis of this situation and the war. The investigation exposed that many of these analyst, who met 18 times with Rumsfeld and made three trips to Iraq, were bias because they were friends and colleagues. It also exposed the fact that many analysts had personal interest with defense companies, some lobbying for the defense industry, or ideological interest, and also gave some of the analyst a business advantage. They exposed that the analyst misled, that they used the media – ... More »
“Federal agencies, for example, have paid columnists to write favorably about the administration.”
Finally, the mainstream media investigates itself (although not quite -- it's a newspaper exposing the wrongs of a major competitor, TV). This analysis was long overdue. But what is even more amazing to me is the analysts' willingness to admit that they lied on air, without much shame -- AND the networks' defensiveness and refusal to explain themselves (or announce a new policy). We should not let them get away with this.
This is the best recent report on the collusion between the military, big business, and big business media that has appeared in mainstream news. This very story has been told by independent media since 2003 and earlier. "Indpendent Media in a Time of War" is an excellent example http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6546453033984487696 . It is very late for the NYT story to come out, but late is only better than never if it leads to drastic reform of media that endures in the structure of what we get from our news sources for the next 100 years. Bravo to Barstow and the Times for front-paging this story. Now we need action.
It is good journalism. Subject matter goes to the heart of "freedom of the press" ....to be manipulated. All societies are controlled (either positively or negatively) by their access to to, or prevention from valid information. When the flow of information is filtered (censored), manipulated (propaganda), or cut off completely the society may become brain dead ( an objective of PsyOps).The article is well researched in a time when access to important relevent documents is stonewalled.
Hidden in the story is a phenomenon I call "Plead Stupid Syndrome" whereby the powerful perpetrators, or their surrogates, cop a plea of ignorance (I.e.:" I dont think NBC was even aware we were participating, ; "Many analysts said network ... More »