Thursday, February 5, 2009

AP Impact: Pentagon boosts spending on PR

AP Impact: Pentagon boosts spending on PR by the AP.

Hey, I think we just found $5 billion a year that can be diverted to helping economic recovery and preventing home foreclosures on hard working (or trying to work) Americans.

On an abandoned Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas, editors for the Joint Hometown News Service point proudly to a dozen clippings on a table as examples of success in getting stories into newspapers.

What readers are not told: Each of these glowing stories was written by Pentagon staff. Under the free service, stories go out with authors' names but not their titles, and do not mention Hometown News anywhere. In 2009, Hometown News plans to put out 5,400 press releases, 3,000 television releases and 1,600 radio interviews, among other work — 50 percent more than in 2007.

The service is just a tiny piece of the Pentagon's rapidly expanding media empire, which is now bigger in size, money and power than many media companies.

So, do you think sometimes you see articles in the local paper, or stories on local TV news that seem ridiculously tilted towards the US military. Well, that's your tax dollars hard at work.

First off, this is very, very close to being illegal. Even the AP, which is not exactly hostile to the US military, hints at that in this article.

And the reason that this was at one time made illegal is that this is very destructive to democracy and freedom. Do you ever notice how its become almost impossible to speak against the US military in this country? Its becoming very hard to have any sort of discussion that might lead to lower defense budgets, or less of our military going around the world killing people. And when you realize there's a $5 billion a year operation employing 27,000 people promoting the US military, then one starts to see why.

In a democracy, power is supposed to reside with the people. The government is supposed to reflect the will of the people. As such, its not the government's role to be telling the people what to think. That distorts the process. That puts power with the government, as opposed to power residing with the people.

Anyone want to make a small wager that this doesn't change under Obama? Maybe I'm wrong, maybe his radical pick of Gates as Sec of Defense means that policies like this under previous Sec of Defense Gates will be reversed.


KDelphi said...

Speaking of propaganda--I got this in my email box, from two different emails, listed in blog on Daschle..he says he is a "Nader supporter"...

"With the new administration in DC, there have been some fascinating
transformations in mainsteam media. I seldom watch TV anymore, but prefer
to search online for what I want to find out. So it's rather amusing to see
the big media squirm with the realization that the Bush empire was so short,
unless you count the grooming efforts to prepare ol' Jeb Bush for next time.
It's fun to watch the dominant images change color in advertising
everywhere, simultaneously. What a hoot!

Not even the biggest of the big -- former home of Walter Kronkite -- namely
CBS News and their flagship 60Minutes is unaffected. It seems that their
editors and fact-checkers have taken leave of their senses and now just want
to pander to the "change" and it's most noticeable in their reporting on the
Arab-Israeli struggles, where CBS 60Minutes has decided to mouth Palestinian
propaganda, without the least effort at saving their own -- CBS's former --

With the internet at our disposal, it's easier to double-check claims
whenever something looks fishy, such as the recent Bob Simon (60Minutes)
special on the West Bank. So I've written an in-depth analysis of the total
cave-in of CBS in their coverage of the Palestinan-Israeli current conflict.
It's at (cant post) but I wanted to simply alert you to
what total nonsense is going to be coming your way since 60Minutes is a
major determinant in broadcasting in the USA.

CBS's editors and fact-checkers may have abdicated their responsibility and
now simply mouth Palestinian propaganda -- such as, that the Israeli
settlers get all the Palestinian water to keep their hilltop fortresses and
kibbutzes green, or that respectable Palestinian doctors with no criminal
background cannot travel to Jerusalem because of Israeli autocratic border
closing to disrupt Palestinian civic functioning. CBS blythely ignores the
fact that Palestinian officialdom refused to participate in the building of
the waterlines thereby necessitating ordinary Palestinians to pay the full
costs of their water services instead of the usual split between community
based-tax funding and personal usage billing, which burdens the poor of the
West Bank with high water prices. All of which leads to CBS scenes of poor
people while CBS somehow missed the rich Palestinians with swimming pools.
And the good doctor who wasn't allowed passes into Jerusalem in the CBS
example "neglected" to mention (and CBS never checked?) that he was related
to a political problem with some terrorist the Israelis have been refusing
to swap. Gee, how could we expect them to remember something so minor an
impediment to his getting his passes!

But CBS's theatrical side hasn't lost its touch, even if the editors have
succumbed. The cover image for Bob Simons' special feature video is some
Palestinian traditionally clothed woman, all demure and docile with doleful
eyes, whose only significance was as the woman in the shadows at some
Palestinian banker's apartment who never says a word, just looks captive.
In contrast CBS devotes several scenes baiting some outdoor burly female
kibbutz leader, challenging her with peace-settlement conditions as comments
and then gleefully recording her adamant rejection of those conditions that
would evict the settlers from their homes in teh West Bank. To complete the
feminine puppet show, CBS interviews Livni, the Israeli Foreign Minister --
a slim, athletic, brusque military female archetype -- presenting her with
the settlers' objections to Israeli negotiations in order to drive a wedge
into the relationship between settlers and Israeli citizens, promising
future bloodshed among Israeli soldiers and the settlers. Strictly
pandering to darker appetites for bloody scenes and drama between the women
leaders. The favoritism for the doleful, docile type seems rather apparent.
Amazing comment on CBS cultural ideas.

Curious how this CBS focus on the West Bank is so completely contrasting
with the scenes where the action was at the moment in time that CBS put this
show on. The action was all in GAZA, not the West Bank. Gaza is totally
run by the Palestinian Hamas, the death-dealing terrorist group who use
women and children as human shields for their military operations against
Israel and whose leaders unbelievably proudly harangue crowds to supposedly
offer women and children the opportunity to be heroic, whether they want to
or not, apparently according to the video captured by some Italian member of
YouTube. Palestinian supporters try to spin the idea that the gunmen (in
the YouTube filmclip) running from Israeli defense troops, who grabs some
kid out of a crowd crouching on the street and drags him away, is trying to
'save' the kid. The kid is just dangling by his backpack straps while the
gunmen hustles along the street. Guess he thought the kid was safer tagging
along with him -- the target the Israelis were shooting at -- some savior.

Some Palestinians may be enthralled with Hamas and their gruesome tactics
that knee-cap objectors and inspire fear all around -- like Patti Hearst
joining her kidnappers -- but hundreds of Palestinians still attempt to
breach the Egyptian borders in spite of the Egyptian guards, who respond by
firing at any Palestinian escapees and summoning hundreds of Egyptian
reinforcements to re-seal the border. Some Arab brotherhood! This gem of
reality was reported on CNN online at least.

The CNN news story and these other openly internet-viewed and reported
factual events just sort of skipped CBS's notice, as did any other mention
of Palestinian activity in Gaza when they at CBS had such an art-piece on
the West Bank. This CBS 'blindness' is in spite of the fact that CBS did
notice that the Israelis now had their own YouTube channel where the
Israelis showed mission video of strikes on rocket launchers in Gaza that
the Palestinians had hidden behind hospitals, schools and mosques -- using
UN and local people as human shields -- of course, the intelligencia prefer
to spin this pattern as 'embedment', nice military jargon for tantalizing
anyone listening with a fancy term so they'll be distracted from the skirts
of women, children, some praying people and a lot of injured hospital
patients. Israelis traditionally air-drop (and send cell-phone alert)
messages to warn civilians of impending action in their area. The videos
show the airstrike hit the ground, followed by a momentary pause before the
munitions hidden at the site go off like gigantic fireworks all at once.
CBS tried to spin that one in an online text article as evidence that the
Israeli airstrikes were not as 'surgical' as the IDF were claiming. One
wonders just what sort of surgeons CBS was talking about.

The links to these videos and articles are at the site referenced above for
anyone wanting to see for themselves. They were dug up by my son in his own
interest in foreign affairs and the use of videographic evidence. My focus
is on truth in broadcasting because, as a mathematical decision analyst,
accurate representations of reality are important for simulations. The
women's issues involved in CBS' puppet show were fascinating in the light of
the last US elections' demonstrated lack of progress for women as
respect-worthy politicians. You betcha!"

MJ Raichyk

Unquote!! I posted the emails (he said to do it),

Lyle said...

Weird Nader supporter! More like a Democrat or Republican troll with a grudge and on someone's payroll.

Samson said...

The part that amazes me is how desperate the Israelis are to attack anyone who dares to publish or broadcast anything beyond their own twisted and hateful propaganda.

And I always take that as a good sign. They have to make sure the American people are lied to, because they obviously feel that if the Americans knew even a small bit of the truth about what's really going on then there's no way the American people would support Israel's murderous and now nearly genocidal policies.

The fact that they have to lie and bully so much is a good sign. It means the truth is on our side.