Pentagon Purse Strings Ensnare TV Military Analysts

Commentators linked to defense contractors
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Apr 20, 2008 8:00 AM CDT
The Pentagon is seen in this Sept. 11, 2002 photo.    (AP Photo/U.S. Air Force, Angela Stafford)
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(Newser) – Several so-called "independent" military analysts who often support Defense Department positions on TV news programs have been linked closely to defense contractors and the Pentagon in an extensive New York Times investigation. "We need to stick our hands up your back and move your mouth for you,’” is the way one former general characterized Pentagon manipulation of his TV commentaries.

The Times discovered that many of the former military men touting the Pentagon line on the Iraq war and other operations are involved in obtaining military contracts for private companies—which is rarely disclosed to TV audiences. They present analysis according to Pentagon instructions as they gain access to those who control defense funding. This media "Trojan Horse" strategy means that analysts in the Pentagon's pocket are essentially “writing the op-ed” for the war, said one observer.