The Department of Justice must launch an investigation to determine if the Pentagon broke the laws prohibiting government sponsored covert propaganda. But don’t hold your breath. As Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) said in a Capitol Hill hearing this week, Bush-appointed DoJ officials are so MIA on government accountability, they should all be “on the side of milk containers.”
This is not a partisan issue. Democrats, Republicans and everyone else are the victims. Public interest groups have launched an effort to pressure our lawmakers to act; to send a resounding message that the American people will no longer tolerate government lies, half-truths, and manipulations in the media.
Many of the network officials interviewed by the Times “acknowledged only a limited understanding of their analysts’ interactions with the administration” and said analysts were not expected to disclose their financial conflicts before being broadcast as an expert.
Shame on the media for their irresponsible and shoddy reporting, for their unwillingness to vet sources, and for being compliant lapdogs when we needed snarling watchdogs.
It is one of the most surreal aspects of our time that there are people hiding in shrubs, knocking each other out of the way to get the latest embarrassing photographs of a celebrity, yet real journalists fail to exhibit anywhere near that same dedication when it comes to war or government accountability in general. Much of the reason doesn’t require grand compsircies about keeping facts hidden from the public. Its about being afraid to offend viewers that the media needs to view the commercials and buy their sponsor’s products. Even the viewers who might not be offended at pointing out that some retired colonel is not much more then a human fax machine for the Whitehouse finds it all too boring and quickly flips the channel to find some escapism. The networks are as guilty of mindless pandering in that sense as they are of being negigent in their duty to be the public’s eyes and ears. Hearings probably wouldn’t produce the kind of sea change the broadcast media in particular needs, but would would increase public awareness. It would get the average viewer to start questioning how much of what the networks are shoveling out is the truth or Conservative spin. More here, How the Pentagon turned the adversarial media into a PR arm