Sunday, April 20, 2008

Military Analysts: An Oxymoron?

Man, sometimes I hate reading the Times! I'd been avoiding this article all morning but, finally, I had to give in and read it. Of course it pissed me off. But I'm more irritated because while I did not know the details in the article, there was only one thing about the article that truly surprised me.

The big "Duh!"s in the article:

"A spokeswoman for Fox News said executives 'refused to participate' in this article." Duh!

"The largest contingent was affiliated with Fox News, followed by NBC and CNN, the other networks with 24-hour cable outlets." See "Duh!" No. 1

"It was, Mr. [Bryan] Whitman added, 'a bit incredible” to think retired military officers could be “wound up” and turned into “puppets of the Defense Department.'" This is an accidental "Duh!" on the part of Mr. Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman: his point was actually the opposite of this, that it's an incredibly unlikely thing—ain't irony wonderful?!

"Some network officials, meanwhile, acknowledged only a limited understanding of their analysts’ interactions with the administration." The only possible surprise in this is that they admitted the fact publicly... or that they were even aware that they ought to be ashamed of it.

"Journalists were secondary. 'We didn’t want to rely on them to be our primary vehicle to get information out,' Mr. [Don] Meyer [aide to assistant secretary of defense for public affairs] said."

"The Pentagon paid a private contractor, Omnitec Solutions, hundreds of thousands of dollars to scour databases for any trace of the analysts..." This actually fits in both categories: the fact that the government is hiring someone to check up on their lackeys is the "Duh!"; the name of the company, however, is whack. It's the kind of name C-list writers use in direct-to-video movies.

The only big surprise for me:

"Robert H. Scales Jr., a retired Army general and analyst for Fox News and National Public Radio" Really? All Things Considered and All Things Unconsidered?

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