Forward to next post: Shilling for big tech companies =/= being pro-technology
How is the Pentagon responding to the fact that Rumsfeld and his cronies have lost the war they started in Iraq? By trying to change the news. After all, if we don’t hear about it, it never happened, right? From The New York Times:
WASHINGTON, Nov. 2 — The Pentagon is reorganizing its public affairs operation in an attempt to influence news coverage, amid internal frustration at the tone and substance of reporting on Iraq and on Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.
The expanded office, which was first described by department officials in an informal press briefing on Monday, features a “rapid response unit” to react to news reports. It is also stepping up efforts to arrange appearances by department officials on talk radio and cable television, and to recruit “surrogates” who are not on the department’s payroll to defend its policies.
“Surrogates.” Oh, joy. We know what they mean. Sockpuppets. Astroturfers. Trolls.
And where will these sockpuppets appear?
Officials involved say the new effort, which was conceived by Assistant Secretary of Defense Dorrance Smith, is not primarily a response to negative coverage but rather is aimed at more aggressively challenging articles and broadcasts deemed inaccurate and at making better use of podcasts, blogs and other new outlets.
Blogs. Yeah. “Inaccurate,” like reporting that Rumsfeld dismissed the folks who told him the truth about Iraq? “Inaccurate” like recording the lies Rumsfeld has told over the years? Notice, please, that “deemed inaccurate” isn’t the same thing as actually “inaccurate.”
Unfortunately for the paid trolls, the role Rumsfeld played in setting Iraq policy is only too clear — he trumpeted it while he was doing it — and the content of his speeches is public record.
Mr. Rumsfeld has long been critical of the government’s efforts to respond to information disseminated by people sympathetic to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups, who make use of the Internet and other technology networks and, as Mr. Rumsfeld often says, are not bound by rules of accuracy.
Since by Rummie’s definitions anyone who criticises him or Bush is an al Qaeda sympathizer, that leaves him lots of room to play.
Hot tip for Rummie: Reality always wins. Always.