Glenn Greenwald has a thorough piece on the use of military analysts by the Pentagon and TV operations.
Particularly noteworthy for editors is this first paragraph about what's lacking in contemporary newsrooms. A few years ago, I ran across a story that referred to a corporal in the Navy, which set my ears to twitching. I don't know that service in the armed forces is the only way to gain knowledge about military affairs--serving as a private first class in the attack on Panama doesn't make someone a strategic expert, for example--but it certainly wouldn't hurt to have more veterans in newsrooms.
Here's the money quote from a memo supporting the Pentagon propaganda effort: ...with an all voluntary military, no one in the media has current military background. Additionally we have been doing a good job of keeping these guys informed so they have ready answers when the networks come calling. ...
The key issue here is that more and more, media analysts are having a greater impact on the television media network coverage of military issues. They have now become the go to guys not only for breaking stories, but they influence the views on issues. They also have a huge amount of influence on what stories the network decides to cover proactively with regard to the military. . . .
1.) I recommend we develop a core group from within our media analyst list of those that we can count on to carry our water.