Information Warfare: Pentagon Profiles Reporters To Save Lives

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August 25, 2009: Some journalists are upset that the Department of Defense is now checking the backgrounds on reporters seeking to be embedded with American military units in Iraq or Afghanistan. This has been going on since 2005, and the main purpose of it is to let commanders, and PAO (Public Affairs Officers) know who they are dealing with, especially for reporters who don't have much of a track record to check.

Some reporters have been barred from being embedded, because of their consistently negative, or even erroneous, reporting. Most journalists believe that the military should allow them to embed, no matter what. The military believes that, since they are paying to haul the journalist around, troops are risking their lives to protect them, and hostile or erroneous reporting is bad for morale, and can even get people killed (lie about something like "soldier uses page from Koran for toilet paper, and watch the bodies pile up), there is no good reason to help a journalist who is out to hurt the troops.

The soldiers and marines have seen numerous examples of deceitful, erroneous and blatantly anti-military reporting, and are inclined to side with the brass on this one. The media has not made a big deal about this, the protests being delivered quietly. Politicians don't want to touch this, nor do the suits at the news organizations, because they know that the military attitudes towards journalists have a basis in fact, and don't want to risk the public blowback if they made a big deal out of it.

 


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