View Full Version : For the Record

10-28-2006, 11:54 AM
H/T Belmont Club blog - The End of the Story (http://fallbackbelmont.blogspot.com/2006/10/end-of-story.html):

Just so you get "both sides" of the story, the Department of Defense has a dedicated webpage (http://www.defenselink.mil/home/dodupdate/index-b.html) which lists out what it thinks are mistakes in media coverage of defense issues, including the occasions it has written a letter to the editor pointing out mistakes which the media outlet refused to publish...

10-28-2006, 07:40 PM
Interesting site, have never run across it before. Must be some busy bees running it.

For the Cebrowski fan club:

Look at the mouse over / hover text that comes up on the "Nature of the Enemy" link at the top. The link takes you to threat info. But the hover text reads "News About DoD's Transformation Efforts." Freudian slip?

10-28-2006, 10:18 PM
Strategy Page (http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/htiw/articles/20061027.aspx) was the first to pick up on this...

... The Defense Department has been dealing with a number of misleading stories. From Newsweek's misreporting of a Koran-flushing incident (caused by a detainee, not guards as reported by Newsweek), to claims of prisoner mistreatment (often without context, including one instance where a detainee spat on an interrogator), to a massive rewriting of an embedded reporter's report on the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment's efforts in Tal Afar, by editors of Time magazine, to the revelations about NSA efforts, the DOD has been barraged by numerous stories, many of which were followed by angry editorials.

The DOD is pushing back, not only putting out requests to correct the record (with the refusals published as well), but also citing stories of heroes that the media has failed to cover usually two or three a week. Among these are accounts of those who have been awarded medals for battlefield bravery, like Navy Cross recipients Robert J. Mitchell Jr. and Bradley A. Kasal, as well as Silver Star recipients Juan M. Rubio, Sarun Sar, Jeremy Church, and Leigh Ann Hester. The DOD has also followed CENTCOM's lead in running pieces on what terrorists actually say another item largely ignored by the mainstream media.

The Department of Defense is acting in an effort to avoid a repeat of the aftermath of the 1968 Tet Offensive. On the battlefield, American and South Vietnamese forces won a victory effectively destroying the Viet Cong and crippling North Vietnamese forces in South Vietnam. However, media misreporting, including Walter Cronkite's famous mischaracterization of the war as a "stalemate", took away the victory that had been won on the battlefield. Such a scenario is less likely now, largely due to the presence of the internet (including blogs), talk radio, and other news networks and the Department of Defense is taking advantage of alternative ways to get around the mainstream media.

11-02-2006, 09:16 AM
2 November Los Angeles Times - Military Rebuts Media on Iraq (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-spin2nov02,0,4346433.story?coll=la-home-headlines) by Julian Barnes.

As concern in the Defense Department mounts over eroding public support for the Iraq war, the Pentagon has launched a rapid-response public relations effort to rebut news stories that officials believe are inaccurate or misleading.

Although all administrations have been critical of the media, most have avoided regular, ongoing public fights with journalists. But in recent weeks the Bush administration has shown a willingness to fight over facts and reporters' analysis of news events.

The Defense Department's rapid-response efforts echo an initiative called "Setting the Record Straight," in which the White House identifies what it says are news reports' inaccuracies or quotations out of context. Among the first results of the Pentagon response is a new "For the Record" section of the Defense Department's website, http://www.defenselink.mil .

On Wednesday the section contained critiques of a Washington Post article, a Newsweek cover story and two New York Times editorials, as well as a list of "Five Myths About the War on Terror" that it said were "some of the more prominent ones in the public dialogue."

Pentagon officials say the effort is not in response to negative coverage of the war, but rather an attempt to adapt to new technologies and find ways to communicate with the American public and international audiences...

Steve Blair
11-02-2006, 01:52 PM
Very interesting link and site. It's a shame that it's somewhat buried on the main site (a common problem with government and university websites).

I added it to the links page on our Detachment's cadet site (along with a Small Wars Journal link....:)).