Monday, August 10, 2015

Pentagon Moves To Curtail Freedom Of Press

Lyndon Johnson escalated the US war in Vietnam during his presidency.  The war did not go well and public sentiment turned against Johnson.  He determined that he could no longer conduct the war as he had planned after he lost the support of Walter Cronkite on his popular TV news show.  He realized that popular support for the war would continue to erode.  George Bush learned a lesson from Johnson's experience.  He restricted journalist access to war zone action by pairing journalists with specific military units.  He also benefited from cable news networks like Fox News which did its best to create propaganda in support of the Iraq war.  Fox even created military heroes who not done anything heroic in order to bolster public sentiment for the war.  Reporting on the Iraq war was nothing like the reporting on the Vietnam war. 

Apparently, the Pentagon believes that it must restrict war reporting even further.  This NYT editorial describes the steps taken by the Pentagon to control war reporting even further.  It declares that journalists will no longer be protected as citizens in war zones and that they may even be regarded as spies.  That is what authoritarian governments in the Mid East have done to restrict the freedom of the press.  Several US reporters have been arrested for spying.  The Pentagon must believe that it should have the same freedom of operation as military dictatorships.

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