Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cirque de Military Analysts ... Pulitzer Prize Winner!

By J. Thomas Duffy

If we want to go retro, in a STICKS-NIX-HICK-PIX way, we could have titled this as:

Propagandists Patter Produces Pulitzer!

You can remember, just going back a year, or two, ago, when the Pentagon sprouted a cottage industry of dusting off, and sprucing up, their retired Generals, and such, putting them through vigorous training, to just stick to the Bush Grindhouse Talking Points, and then pointed them to every news, and cable news, studio, to go out and sell the Invasion and Occupation of Iraq, right?

And, those news networks, all of them, understood the wink-and-nod, giving those retired Generals, and such, titled, in reverence, as "Military Analysts," almost as much airtime as Pat Buchanan, even after it was brought to their attention that they were compromised, and propagandists, well, they weren't going to stand in the way of an army of old-times making a few bucks.

They had screens to fill, and endless airtime to keep churning out the Bush Grindhouse Talking Points, and who better to have beaming out of the nation's boob tubes, than a bunch of guys with a lot of ribbons on their chests and scrambled eggs on their epaulets, tossing around Militaryspeak, and keeping the morale of the country in full, technicolor, high-definition, jingoistic, flag-waving glory.

Well, payday came this week.

But not for the propagandists, and not for the networks.

It came to the investigative reporter, from The New York Times, who blew the cover off on this sweetheart sham-of-a-scam.

From Glenn Greenwald's "The Pulitzer-winning investigation that dare not be uttered on TV":

The New York Times' David Barstow won a richly deserved Pulitzer Prize yesterday for two articles that, despite being featured as major news stories on the front page of The Paper of Record, were completely suppressed by virtually every network and cable news show, which to this day have never informed their viewers about what Barstow uncovered. Here is how the Pulitzer Committee described Barstow's exposés:

Awarded to David Barstow of The New York Times for his tenacious reporting that revealed how some retired generals, working as radio and television analysts, had been co-opted by the Pentagon to make its case for the war in Iraq, and how many of them also had undisclosed ties to companies that benefited from policies they defended.

Jamison Foser, over at MediaMatters, asked (almost rhetorically), "Barstow wins Pulitzer for military analysts story; will networks notice?"

Greenwald details that answer, as does dday, over oat Hullabaloo, in "See No Pulitzer, Hear No Pulitzer, Speak No Pulitzer":

Indeed, NBC and CNN's reporting on the Pulitzer winners carefully avoided any mention of Barstow's story. NBC even ran a separate piece last night using one of the "military analysts" of the type in the Pentagon pundits investigation. As Glennzilla asks, "Has there ever been another Pulitzer-Prize-winning story for investigative reporting never to be mentioned on major television -- let alone one that was twice featured as the lead story on the front page of The New York Times?"

Did I expect any different? No. But the parallel structure of the news these days - where the conversation in one corner bears absolutely no resemblance to the conversation in the other - is quite striking.

Oh yeah, here are The Retro Parts.

Empty Suits ... “I felt we’d been hosed" ...

Cirque de Military Analysts

Today's Must Read - The Military-Media Dog-and-Pony Show

Oh, and one more thing ...

Congratulations David Barstow!

(Cross-posted at The Garlic.)

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