True, the Pentagon does have perhaps the single largest public relations apparatus on earth – spending $4.7 billion on P.R. in 2009 alone and employing 27,000 people, a staff nearly as large as the 30,000-person State Department – but is that really enough to ensure positive coverage in a society with [sic] armed with a constitutionally-guaranteed free press?The State Department has only 3,000 more people than the DoD's PR "department"? WTF! I've heard people giving SoS Hillary Clinton good marks, but I'll reserve praise until the State Department starts taking money from the military to increase our "smart power."
And true, most of the major TV outlets are completely in the bag for the Pentagon, with two of them (NBC/GE and Logan's own CBS, until recently owned by Westinghouse, one of the world's largest nuclear weapons manufacturers) having operated for years as leaders in both the broadcast media and weapons-making businesses.
But is that enough to guarantee a level playing field? Can a general really feel safe that Americans will get the right message when the only tools he has at his disposal are a $5 billion P.R. budget and the near-total acquiescence of all the major media companies, some of whom happen to be the Pentagon's biggest contractors?
The Military Supported Media
I need to prime the blogging pump to actually finish the last two posts and write the rest of a post in draft. So I'm quoting Matt Taibbi posting on the the journalistic practice of the MSM's Laura Logan vs. the independent press' Brian Hastings: