The Military Analyst Scandal Dies -- Even on NPR?

Maybe we're not surprised anymore when hidden motives paraded before us are ignored by the corporate media. Have we also moved beyond public radio being held to a higher standard?
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Two weeks ago, the New York Times revealed that the "military analysts" parading through network and cable newscasts for the past six years have been largely willing members of a Pentagon psy-ops program, used as "message force multipliers" to carry good-news messaging about the war to viewers. Today, the Politico runs a story about the deafening response from those networks, usually so eager to hop onto and run with a major New York Times scoop.

But even the Politico story misses an area of eerie silence. It cites Tom Rosenstiel, of the Project for Excellence in Journalism:

Rosenstiel's organization tracked the mainstream media for a week after the Times story and found that out of approximately 1,300 news stories, only two touched on the Pentagon analysts scoop -- both airing on PBS's NewsHour.

The silence Politico doesn't mention comes from NPR, not cited in Rosenstiel's survey as having followed up the NYT story, despite the fact that one of the analysts quoted in the story as begging for another Pentagon-sponsored trip to Iraq and citing the good work he'd done for them after past trips, was doing his analysis for both Fox News -- and NPR.

By the way, the payoff for the analysts to cooperate with the Pentagon program, according to the original NYT story, was not just increased insider access, the fool's gold of Beltway media corruption. The analysts also had day jobs working for military contractors, and their cooperation with the media program certainly didn't hurt their companies' chances of gaining contracts.

Those connections, of course, went unrevealed to viewers, and listeners. As did the connections of the host and all panelists on a recent public radio discussion of psychoactive drugs to the manufacturers of such medications. This Slate story covers that little scandal.

We may, sadly, be beyond the time when such hidden motives for the "experts" paraded before us have the power to surprise when ignored by the corporate media. Have we also moved beyond the time when public radio isn't held (or doesn't hold itself) to a higher standard?

UPDATE: Tyndall's survey covered only television news. NPR's media correspondent did indeed file a story on the military analyst scandal.

UPDATE #2: Glenn Greenwald at Salon has read through the 8000 pages of transcripts the Pentagon released as a result of the NYT's Freedom of Information Act lawsuit (the basis for the original Times story). He has two reports on what he's read, here and here

UPDATE #3: According to Regret the Error (a wonderful website), NPR"s ombudsman now says the network has a contractual relationship with the talk show in the Slate article, "The Infinite Mind", to run the broadcast on Sirius "public radio" channels.

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