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Pentagon Pauses Propaganda Program

Since the build-up to Iraq, retired US military generals, presented as independent mediate analysts, were in fact part of an extensive Pentagon program called "Message Force Multipliers."

The New York Times reported last week that the experienced personnel, appearing to want nothing more than to help Americans assess a post-9/11 world, were actually part of a carefully organized Pentagon information apparatus used to disseminate a message favorable to the Bush Administration.

The effort began with the build-up to Iraq, and television stations continued to use these retirees, who also had extensive and current military contracts, until yesterday when the Pentagon suspended the program.

The Pentagon's spokesman said that the media-infiltration operation was being reevaluated due to criticism that the retired officers offered Pentagon talking points as their own.

Who do you think is more to blame for this dishonest representation —the Bush Administration, or the willing television networks ready to use war for ratings? Do you think they collectively and gravely deceived the American public, or should it have been obvious to viewers that the "analysts" were puppets of the Pentagon? Is this fraud? Treason? Or politics as usual?

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Join The Conversation
ghostgrrl ghostgrrl 9 years
The media is supposed to be the 4th estate. They are supposed to objectively report about the activities of the government so that citizens can make informed decisions when they vote. I think the action of the Pentagon is worse than "liberal bias" in the media because the Pentagon was using our own tax dollars to pay these people. When the government takes money out of my paycheck, I don't want to see it spent on anything that is designed to mislead me, or give me anything other than straight, objective information about the activities of the government. If some people want to support the war, that's fine... but I don't want to pay somebody to make your argument for you. I am also very offended that these people were on the public payroll but that that information was kept secret. If these folks are working for the Pentagon, I want to KNOW they're working for the Pentagon. I don't pay my government to trick me.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
"If not, how should Americans get crucial information? ... blogs? " Shameless plug!! ;)
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
*positive news on the war, I meant.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"war ='d more $$ for cable news" Definitely. In fact, that may be one of the reasons that positive news is reported less, as some other people here have pointed out :) People do have to be more critical, I agree. "If not, how should Americans get crucial information?" That's the challenge of the 21st century for some of us :D
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
Are you guys so sure the television networks were simply naive? In fact Fox News was still using the "analysts" after they were exposed in the NY Times. I think it's dangerous when media outlets tie their interests so close to the government's. Do you not think that war ='d more $$ for cable news? Has anyone seen this story saturating the news since it broke? I wonder why . . . Can we expect the media to act on the average citizen's interest, instead of corporate interests? Television is a business. If not, how should Americans get crucial information? ... blogs? ;-) Perhaps one solution is for American viewers to be a little more critical of what they hear on TV.
Auntie-Coosa Auntie-Coosa 9 years
I am sitting here laughing myself silly. LOLOLOLOL. The MEDIA didn't do their homework and find out who their "expert commentators" really were. Hey, the Media doesn't do much homework anyway. They go with the easiest way. You know, the DAN RATHER way. Blame the Media for being so gullible and for not checking out who they were using as commentators. LOLOL.
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
I always read it as that too!
syako syako 9 years
I read it as "Main Street Media" :rotfl:
em1282 em1282 9 years
Re: global warming not being an imminent danger...personally I'm kinda sick of the whole "let's not do anything until it's 10000% proven that it's going to be a problem". I don't really think it takes a lot to be environmentally conscious, and a few things to change harmful habits now will not hurt us at all. Back on topic (sorta)--I just kind of like the term "message force multipliers". I think I've just found myself a cool band name. Also, to whomever has to sit around and come up with some BS terms? I salute you.
LibertySugar LibertySugar 9 years
No worries! Main Stream Media's identity crisis drives me crazy on a regular basis!
syako syako 9 years
(I hope citizen and lib didn't take offense to that comment, I was referring to daily newspapers and cable news wanting to have blogs and everything that could fall under the new media category) I love you guys :hug:
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"screw facts, we want FLASH!" That's infotainment for ya ;)
syako syako 9 years
I think they laid off that department and added "bloggers" and "new media professional" screw facts, we want FLASH!
hausfrau hausfrau 9 years
Does anyone fact check anymore??
syako syako 9 years
and then you remember, oh right, it was on cable news. :oy: ;)
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"when stories like this break, it almost makes you wonder where was all the wonderful investigative and fact checking reporting?" That's a truly excellent point.
syako syako 9 years
oh and on that topic - I think the whole thing is pretty stinky, as was the whole Armstrong Williams case. But to be honest, I think these stories actually harm the integrity/credibility of news professionals more than they hurt the government. Reason being, consumer confidence in the credibility of the media has been declining for years now (go look up gallup polls) so when stories like this break, it almost makes you wonder where was all the wonderful investigative and fact checking reporting? Not saying that's how it SHOULD be, but that's how I think it is regarded.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
Given how many American people already believe that the administration duped the nation into this war through a campaign of misrepresentations, manipulations, and outright lies, it's entertaining to me that the way the administration chooses to try to cast a better light on the war is through...a campaign of possible misrepresentations, manipulations, and potentially a lie or two here and there. What a gaffe.
syako syako 9 years
I thought this was supposed to be about propaganda? :? :ponder: ;) heh
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
"Before we go forward and spen a great deal of time and money, let's make sure it's something we absolutely have to do." Funnily enough, that's what I always said about Iraq. But to each their own, I suppose, whether we consider invading a nation or trying to preserve the planet for future generations important enough to invest time and money. :)
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Disease is different because it kills immediately. We don't know the full effects of global warming, and wether the temp is going to go down in a few years without any help from us. Before we go forward and spen a great deal of time and money, let's make sure it's something we absolutely have to do.
silly3 silly3 9 years
How is disease different, Dave? Because it causes human suffering and we have the knowledge to heal people and alleviate their pain? If there is something other than a disease that causes human suffering, do we not have the same obligation to try to mitigate the effects? It is indisputable that we have contributed to global warming. During past swings in climate (both cold and warm), there were not 6.7 billion people living on Earth. Modern man has only been around for about 200,000 years, during which time climate has been fairly stable. We definitely don’t know everything, but we certainly know enough about the causes and effects of global warming to take action to try to prevent future suffering.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
As long as we're at it with the whole ebb and flow, let's not inoculate against diseases either. Hey, it's just nature. I think we can both agree that diseases are a bit different. As for the warming of the environment wiping us out, it would need to get a lot hotter to wipe us off the planet. The earth was a lot warmer than now, and we weren't decimated. Let's not get all fear mongering over something that we don't know about, causes or effects...
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
As long as we're at it with the whole ebb and flow, let's not inoculate against diseases either. Hey, it's just nature.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
ok. i suppose you'll also be the one standing under the erupting volcano, putting yourself right in the impact zone of the next meteor, and crossing your fingers that you'll be on a scaffold somewhere during the next earthquake, dave? we should do something about it because it has the potential to wipe us out... that's why.
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