The New York Times expose on the Pentagon’s use of military analysts on network television is a story that refuses to die. Sort of. Since the story’s publication on April 20 it has continued to make waves in the blogsphere (MediaMatters does the analyst/network math here), however the networks have been noticeably silent. Howard Kurtz on this week’s Reliable Sources noted that “the networks continued to ignore that New York Times story about TV’s military analysts.” Meanwhile according to Politico the mainstream media silence has been “deafening,” and that out of “approximately 1,300 news stories, only two touched on the Pentagon analysts scoop both airing on PBS’s “NewsHour.”
Over at HuffPo Rachel Sklar has a far different take, arguing that were one to look a little closer (and she does) the 7,600-word article doesn’t actually make a viable case against the military analysts it name drops or, by extension, the networks:
They proved their case against the Pentagon, hands down. But they did not prove their case against the generals and other military men whom they name-dropped in that story. Which means they did not necessarily prove their case against the networks.The devil, as the say, is in the details, or perhaps in this case, not.
Just because the Pentagon mounted a sophisticated information system aimed at influencing military analysts does not mean that their aim was always true…The word “many” and other vague qualifiers are used over and over again to describe the analysts partaking in the campaign, often voluntarily. But “many” is a reeeaaaallly unspecific term…and hardly sufficient for grounding the kind of allegations that the article makes over and over again.The rest of the piece can be found here, yada, yada, yada. Networks or not, it doesn’t look like this story is going anywhere soon.