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Wednesday Crib Sheet: O'Keefe Honored, Pentagon Vindicated


James O’Keefe is recognized for his new media achievements:

James O’Keefe, founder of Project Veritas, was recognized this week by Forbes Magazine in its list of “30 Under 30” within the media category for his investigation of National Public Radio. The investigation led to the resignation of NPR’s CEO and a vote in the House of Representatives to defund the taxpayer-funded organization.

Somewhere a MMfA employee is crying, huddled in a corner over this nod.

– The conservative and progressive blogosphere unite against SOPA. (Kill the bill.)

The Pentagon finds no fault with its “briefing program” for television military analysts:

A Pentagon public relations program that sought to transform high-profile military analysts into “surrogates” and “message force multipliers” for the Bush administration complied with Defense Department regulations and directives, the Pentagon’s inspector general has concluded after a two-year investigation …

… The results of the new inquiry, first reported by The Washington Times, confirm that the Pentagon under Donald H. Rumsfeld made a concerted effort starting in 2002 to reach out to network military analysts to build and sustain public support for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The inquiry found that from 2002 to 2008, Mr. Rumsfeld’s Pentagon organized 147 events for 74 military analysts. These included 22 meetings at the Pentagon, 114 conference calls with generals and senior Pentagon officials and 11 Pentagon-sponsored trips to Iraq and Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Twenty of the events, according to a 35-page report of the inquiry’s findings, involved Mr. Rumsfeld or the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or both.

One retired officer, the report said, recalled Mr. Rumsfeld telling him: “You guys influence a wide range of people. We’d like to be sure you have the facts.”

The inspector general’s investigation grappled with the question of whether the outreach constituted an earnest effort to inform the public or an improper campaign of news media manipulation.

Newsbusters says vindicated.

But the New York Times itself did not report the Pentagon’s vindication until Christmas Day, when most people are occupied with family and fun, and buried it on page A20 under the headline “Pentagon Finds No Fault In Ties to TV Analysts.” Barstow (who bashed the Tea Party in an ahistorical 4,500-word front-page hit piece in February 2010) also wrote the Christmas Day Pentagon vindication story, and his defensive take was considerably more jaundiced than Scarborough’s. Of course, Urbahn’s demand for a Pulitzer return did not appear.

Biggest interview scoops of 2011.


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