Its all about Information War, and those who play it best. The media, and politicians, are in the business of attracting attention to themselves. The media turn around and rent that attention to advertisers, who slip in all those ads we have come to know and love. Politicians use the attention to say something they think voters will like, or at least enough voters to get them re-elected. While the military tries to attract attention, thats not its primary job. The military doesnt sell ads, or run for election. The troops fight wars, and that sort of thing requires a no-nonsense and pragmatic approach to things. Its a matter of life and death, not looking pretty or electable.
You can attract eyeballs and ears by slamming the troops. But the Gallup survey is another way to showing what people thought after they had seen and heard the news stories, and politicians reactions. Getting someones attention is not the same as gaining their confidence.
The Gallup organization's 2005 confidence poll brought forth another result that wont snag too many headlines. The May 22-26 survey, of a random sampling of Americans, found that the organization people (74 percent of them) had the most confidence in was the military. Way down on the list were politicians (22 percent) and the news media (28 percent.) How can this be? The news is constantly full of stories about the troops screwing up. Things like abusing prisoners, killing civilians and desecrating the Koran. Politicians, in response to the media claims, are just as eager to demand that the military do something about all these problems.