Congressional Democrats Calling For Investigation into ‘Pentagon’s Propaganda Program’

michaelcopps Congressional Democrats Calling For Investigation into Pentagons Propaganda ProgramSeveral weeks ago, David Barstow wrote an investigative piece for The New York Times taking a hard look at a group of ex-military pundits and their relationships with the Pentagon during the run-up to and early stages of the war in Iraq. Today, in the Politico, former Media Mobster Michael Calderone and his colleague Avi Zenilman report that while the television networks have mostly ignored the unflattering revelations in the Times story, various Democratic Congressional leaders are now calling for investigations "that could provoke the networks to finally cover the Times story—and, in effect, themselves."

More from Politico’s story:

On Tuesday, Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and John Dingell (D-Mich.) sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin "urging an investigation of the Pentagon’s propaganda program" to determine if the networks or analysts violated federal law.

FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps, a Democrat, applauded their efforts. "President Eisenhower warned against the excesses of a military-industrial complex," Copps said in a statement. "I’d like to think that hasn’t morphed into a military-industrial-media complex, but reports of spinning the news through a program of favored insiders don’t inspire a lot of confidence."

DeLauro said by phone that the Pentagon’s program was "created in order to give military analysts access in exchange for positive coverage of the Iraq war."

The FCC request follows DeLauro’s April 24 letters to five of the most powerful network executives: NBC News President Steve Capus, ABC News President David Westin, CBS News President Sean McManus, FOX News chief executive Roger Ailes and CNN News Group President Jim Walton.

Only ABC and CNN have responded so far, according to DeLauro, who is not the only member of Congress calling attention to the Times story.

Both Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) have written to the Government Accountability Office, seeking an investigation into whether the Pentagon aided in connecting military analysts with contractors.

 

Article continues below
More from Politics
STAR OF DAVID OR 'PLAIN STAR'?   If you thought "CP Time" was impolitic, on July 2 Donald Trump posted a picture on Twitter of a Star of David on top of a pile of cash next to Hillary Clinton's face. You'd think after the aforementioned crime stats incident (or after engaging a user called "@WhiteGenocideTM," or blasting out a quote from Benito Mussolini, or...) Trump would have learned to wait a full 15 seconds before hitting the "Tweet" button. But not only was the gaffe itself bad, the attempts at damage control made the BP oil spill response look a virtuoso performance.  About two hours after the image went up on Trump's account, somebody took it down and replaced it with a similar picture that swapped the hexagram with a circle (bearing the same legend "Most Corrupt Candidate Ever!"!). Believe it or not, it actually got worse from there. As reports arose that the first image had originated on a white supremacist message board, Trump insisted that the shape was a "sheriff's star," or "plain star," not a Star of David. And he continued to sulk about the coverage online and in public for days afterward, even when the media was clearly ready to move on. This refusal to just let some bad press go would haunt him later on.
Donald Trump More Or Less Says He’ll Keep On Tweeting as President