Your Lying Eyes

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19 April 2008

Hey, I've Got a Family to Feed

In a rather eye-opening investigative report, the NY Times reveals the close relationship between the "military analysts" one sees being interviewed on TV and the Pentagon, and the business interests that binds them. Most of these guys are lobbyists, consultants, or executives with firms seeking military contracts. The Pentagon gave them unprecedented access, which of course was great for business. And as long as they touted the administration's line in interviews, the access continued. But slip up once, and you're cut off. Here's one analyst describing the bull he proferred to the public:
“We knew we had extraordinary access,” said Timur J. Eads, a retired Army lieutenant colonel and Fox analyst who is vice president of government relations for Blackbird Technologies, a fast-growing military contractor. Like several other analysts, Mr. Eads said he had at times held his tongue on television for fear that “some four-star could call up and say, ‘Kill that contract.’ ” For example, he believed Pentagon officials misled the analysts about the progress of Iraq’s security forces. “I know a snow job when I see one,” he said. He did not share this on TV. “Human nature,” he explained...
We're used to financial pundits lying to us without a trace of that "still, small voice" getting in their way as they try to get you to invest in whatever company is paying them consulting fees at the moment. But some of us naively expect military guys not to be selling out their brothers quite so blatantly. Some of us can be pretty stupid. Still, the article is pretty disconcerting - depressing, really, as to how money - and not all that much money - can be used so effectively and subtly to mold public perceptions.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Yukase said...

Are you implying the same about global warming sceptics or advocates?

April 20, 2008 7:54 PM  
Blogger gcochran said...

Coordination was obvious, from the way certain exact phrases - 'talking points' - showed up simultaneously in these guys comments. It's nice to hear more of the details.

You know there's gotta be more where this came from.

April 21, 2008 2:17 AM  
Blogger ziel said...

Yukase - I'm sure if you read some Townhall columnist or some other conservative pundit expounding on 'cosmic ray flux' or how the 'troposphere isn't warming as fast as the surface' or how 'Greenland is gaining ice faster than its losing' or some other technical objection to global warming, you can be sure those words are being plucked of some talking points sheet he's been handed, and that his income is somehow or other affected by how well he advances these arguments, because he's too stupid to have researched and understood these arguments himself.

There's no doubt some talking points advocacy going on the other side, as well, but this is more politically driven - there's nothing even remotely like the energy industry out their to fund global warming advocacy.

On global warming, stick with actual scientists. Some of them could be 'on the payroll' - which I presume means speaking fees and think-tank chairs, mostly - but at least you can compare the arguments on each side on an equal footing. Ignore the pundits - they're all full of it.

To me, the ones who believe increasing CO2 is causing measurable and real increases in the world's temperature that will eventually lead to serious problems sound like they have a better handle on the science than those who argue against this.

April 21, 2008 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I remember James Cramer telling people not to sell Bear Stearns even after it started to implode, openly trying to prop up the stock.

That dude is a four-square liar, so is Larry Kudlow. They tell you what they want you to invest in for their own purposes.

April 21, 2008 3:56 PM  
Anonymous i said...

The problem is America at this point is a thoroughly corrupt, banana republic, where anyone can be bought off. Its what happens when you make the ability to amass wealth the only yard stick of a person's moral value. Its the inevitable result of a society where everybody has the attitude of "screw you, I've got me and mind to think about". Like the Million Dollar Man Ted Di Biase used to say, "everybody's gotta price".

April 21, 2008 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NYT investigating lying? Imagine that! I can think of plenty of other shit they can to look into(including their own disengenous selves).

April 22, 2008 11:52 AM  

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