s skippy the bush kangaroo: why we fight

skippy the bush kangaroo

Friday, April 25, 2008

why we fight

from last night's newshour segment on the media rent-a-generals -

"And Robert Zelnick, he spent more than 20 years with ABC News and served as their Pentagon correspondent from 1986 to 1994. Today, he teaches journalism at Boston University."

"BOB ZELNICK: I wasn't surprised at all. In fact, when I covered the Pentagon, I often sought information from retired generals and admirals and colonels because I knew they were well-informed."

I knew they kept in touch. I knew they had drinks at the Army-Navy Club. I know they went to Army-Navy football games on special trains together. I knew that many of them were serving as what we called Beltway bandits or consultants.

So I wasn't surprised at all, except by the amount of space devoted to this piece by the New York Times.

And if I were giving advice to anybody, it would be, if you have an admiral on who is or a general who is currently a consultant to the Pentagon, that should be disclosed right at the top of the interview."


"BOB ZELNICK: I don't think the Pentagon recruits for ABC News; at least it didn't when I worked there. And I don't think they recruit for Fox or CNN or any of the other networks or cable operations.

I think the term "recruit" was used rather loosely to mean they recommended, perhaps, former generals or admirals to the various networks and, once they had them, they kept them informed.

And I think that's to the good. It meant that more information was available.

If occasionally a general or an admiral or a colonel who was retired and used in this fashion allowed himself to be dictated to, that's his fault. And I think any solid news person or executive editor running one of these programs would have discerned that early on and quit using him."


"BOB ZELNICK: I covered the First Gulf War, and they had just as many military analysts on the networks and the cable shops as they had this time. So it was something that the networks perceived was in their own interest to develop these kinds of contacts.

And it was in their interest. It certainly was in my interest as a Pentagon correspondent."


question: quis custodiet ipsos custodes? - juvenal 6.347-348

answer: it sure as heck ain't abc.

posted by Pudentilla at 7:27 AM |


commented by Blogger nunya, 5:30 PM PDT  
Fortunately when I saw that last night I had no rocks readily to hand.
commented by Blogger Linkmeister, 5:32 PM PDT  
I think some folks forget how tightly the Pentagon controlled the media window during the First Gulf War. The folks there insanely blamed losing Vietnam on press coverage.
commented by Blogger Batocchio, 10:02 AM PDT  

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