White House Blacklist Breakthrough: Online media team up for free press victory
I thought it was shameful that 10 days after David Barstow's NY Times article about how the establishment media colluded with the Pentagon to sell the war in Iraq and the "war on terror" to the American people by hiring the Pentagon's "message force multipliers" as military analysts, no one had asked the White House about it.
I'd been trying, but I'd been on Dana Perino's 'blacklist' during my last six visits to the briefing room.
Today she again ignored me (I was sitting in the front row) until the very end of the briefing, when she was forced to call on me thanks to the intervention of Les Kinsolving of WorldNetDaily. Les had noticed at previous briefings that I was being singled out, and he thought it wasn't fair. Today he put Dana on the spot.
A video of this exchange is now available here.
Les Kinsolving: How about this gentleman's question? He's had his hand up all this time.
Ms. Perino: Yes. I'm well aware. I'm sure it will be a great question. Go ahead.
Me: The NY Times has reported that over the last...
Ms. Perino: It's definitely going to be a good question.
Me: ...over the last 6 years, the Pentagon conducted a secret operation designed to sell the war in Iraq and the 'war on terror' to the American people. It recruited more than 75 ex-military officers, many with financial ties to the defense industry, provided them with talking points and an extraordinary degree of access not available to ordinary members of the press, including meetings with the Secretary of Defense, and got them hired as supposedly independent military analysts by every U.S. television network. One of its participants described the program...
Ms. Perino: Do you have a question?
Me: One of its participants described the program as "Psyops on Steroids," and others said...
Ms. Perino: Is this your opinion?
Me: I'm describing the program.
Ms. Perino: What's your question?
Me: Others said that if they departed from the Pentagon's talking points, their access was cut off, and my question is: Did the White House know about and approve of this operation?
Ms. Perino: Look, I don't...I didn't know...look, I think you guys should take a step back and look at this op...look, DOD's made a decision, they've decided to stop this program. But I would say that one of the things that we try to do in the administration is get information out to a variety of people so that everybody else can call them and ask their opinion about something. And I don't think that that should be against the law. And I think it's absolutely appropriate to provide information to people who are seeking it and who are going to be providing their opinions on it. It doesn't necessarily mean that all of those military analysts ever agreed with the administration. I think you can go back and look and think that a lot of their analysis was pretty tough on the administration. That doesn't mean that we shouldn't talk to people.
Weak, Dana. The DOD has decided to suspend, not stop the program. And secretly propagandizing the American people IS against the law. This one:
"No part of any appropriation contained in this or any other Act shall be used for publicity or propaganda purposes within the United States not heretofore authorized by the Congress.�
And when you say, "That doesn't mean we shouldn't talk to people" who are "tough on the administration," why won't you talk to me unless Les Kinsolving forces you to?
Afterwards, I thanked Les and had a good talk with fellow White House correspondent Helen Thomas. She advised me to keep coming, keep sticking my hand in the air, and, if I'm ignored, to speak up. None of the other journalists spoke to me, but one cameraman walking by said "Good work".
FULL WHITE HOUSE TRANSCRIPT AT THIS LINK
THINK PROGRESS HAS VIDEO CLIP
The preceding article was a White House report from Eric Brewer, who will periodically attend White House press briefings for Raw Story. Brewer is also a contributor at BTC News. He was the first person to ask about the Downing Street memo at a White House briefing.