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Army to Fake the News

24a5.jpgAs if gagging milbloggers, posting to its own lame blog, denying embeds and writing silly editorials weren't enough, now the Pentagon is preparing to get into "news" production in a big way, all part of its effort to spin the Iraq War. So says Defense Tech pal Paul McLeary (and former embedded reporter) from the Columbia Journalism Review Daily:

An Associated Press story yesterday discussed a new DoD memo one of its reporters got a hold of that said that "new teams of people" at the Pentagon "will begin working to 'develop messages' for the domestic 24-hour news cycle."But what might that mean? CNN.com followed up, and reported that the new operation is to have four branches: New Media, Rapid Response, TV and Radio Booking, and Surrogates. The idea is to massage the domestic media coverage of the war and of the Pentagon in general.For example, the New Media branch will create "products and distribut[e] information" for the Internet, as well as through podcasting, DVDs and Web sites, including YouTube. Rapid Response will "Develop messages and products for the 24/7 media cycle." For example, CNN says that "In recent weeks, there has been an increase in Pentagon-written letters to the editors of dozens of news organizations." The TV and Radio Booking branch will "provide civilian and military guests for cable network and radio programs," while Surrogates will "Provide information and visibility to the surrogate community" -- which presumably means getting analysts to go on TV to express support for Pentagon programs, or for Rummy himself.
Read the whole sordid tale here.--David Axe
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