Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pentagon Conducting Two-Pronged Blog Attack To Spread "Good News" About Iraq

The U.S. Army has hired public relations firm Manning Selvage & Lee to do outreach to pro-military bloggers, according to a Jan. 10 article in trade publication O'Dwyer's Public Relations News.

"The blogs are viewed as a way to distribute 'good news' about Iraq," the managing director of the firm's Detroit office told O'Dwyer's.

Blogger Donald Sensing accepted the offer, saying, "I spent long enough in Army Public Affairs to know when I'm being fed baloney. ... I predict the [Washington] Post and others of the dinosaur media will ... say we are biased, as if they are not. ... I am biased, I freely admit."

The effort coincides with news that the Pentagon is shutting down some military blogs that it says reveal too much information about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. As reported by JABBS and others, the Pentagon's action has drawn criticism from soldiers and others who say the military's real goal is to silence or sanitize blogs that reveal the truth about daily life fighting the wars.

"The ones that stay up are completely patriotic and innocuous, and they're fine if you want to read the flag-waving and how everything's peachy keen in Iraq," New York Army National Guard Spc. Jason Christopher Hartley, who was demoted from sergeant and fined because of information on his blog, told Newsday.

The military's reasoning is "loose lips sink ships," and no doubt the military works under rules that the average American does not. But while the military worries about what messages are being sent by its soldiers' blogs, it should also consider what message it sends when it advocates censorship and propaganda.

4 Comments:

Anonymous ash said...

I fail to see how the "loose lips" cliche equates to merely telling the truth about the situation as an individual troop experiences it. In fact, I'd call that a disconnect.

Unfortunately, we've all heard weirder rationales about the mess in Iraq. And no doubt, they'll become even weirder.

7:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We've seen a pattern from the Bush Administration to keep the bad news out of Iraq, which is undeniably overwhelming the good news, from the public's ears. (You can imagine if the U.S. was actually winning the military battle, it would be a different story).
But as long as the MSM fails to raise a fuss, where is the wide coverage on this issue JABBS raises, for example? Bush can continue to say "What Me Worry." He even looks like Alfred E. Neuman.

12:04 PM  
Anonymous displacedtexan said...

Thanks for the link, JABBS!
In the end, it's all about total control, isn't it?

2:35 PM  
Anonymous leveymg said...

Does this DoD "outreach" include cash payments or contributed content?

Because if it does, and the intended audience is U.S. citizens, this appears to be illegal.

Thanks for the report. Forwarded to Rep. Henry Waxman's Committee on Government Reform Minority Office.

2:36 PM  

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