The Pentagon canceled its contract with the Rendon Group today, a week after Stars & Stripes first reported the firm’s controversial journalist profiling conducted for the military. An email from Rear Adm. Gregory J. Smith, a senior communicator in Afghanistan noted that the decision was his alone, and that the issue had become a distraction.
The Defense Department tried to downplay the timeline, and the nature of the profiles, till they started surfacing online. The DoD also denied that journalists were refused embed spots because of them. Though on Friday, a public affairs officer with the 101st Airborne Division said he had used the conclusions contained in Rendon profiles in part to reject at least two journalistsâ€™ applications for embeds.
Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, military spokesperson for U.S. forces in Afghanistan said the practice of denying reporters embed positions is “flat out incorrect,” on NPR’s On the Media today. You can listen to the interview here: