4 thoughts on “Serious Journalism

  1. May I add that “Think Tank” in the public mind conjures images of an independent body that surveys the issues and presents ideas openly.
    Of course, nothing could be further from the truth as most think tanks are a “front organization” for one political spiel or another.

  2. The suggestion of “front organization” above might be a bit strong, but, it’s still on the mark. Defense reporting in this country is–and has been–generally abominable. The original Wired article makes no mention of the degree to which reporters of major newspapers were regularly compromised, in the `50s, `60s and `70s, by the CIA itself, and the rise of large right-wing think tanks such as AEI and the Heritage Foundation afterward made it all too simple to find the name of a hawk to quote in one’s Rolodex.
    Interesting, though, that in the original article, Hodge mentions Michael Gordon as one of those associated with a defense think tank–without ever noting that Gordon’s tendentious, one-sided and often thoroughly misleading (and flat wrong) reporting helped that very defense industry supporting many such think tanks. And Gordon is not one of those journalists who found himself out of the newsroom due to a buyout–he’s still working for theTimes–so, is there no suggestion that such constitutes a conflict of interest? Maybe Hodge is leading up to that conclusion, but, he never exactly makes it.
    Lewis Powell, almost forty years ago, laid out the process by which the corporate right wing was to regain control of the News Cycle and turn news back to the task of becoming the PR organ for the wealthy, and because the right wing steadily funded that effort, year in, year out, they and the defense industry–a subset of wealthy and powerful–have seen their efforts come to fruition, in no small part due to the fact that they made hawkish think tanks an integral part of that PR process.

  3. Funny, Ido think that there is a lot of “cash for opinions” demagoguery out there. All you have to do is look at the number of retired military personnel who wind up with lucrative wingnut welfare sinecures at various think tanks or other, who then wind up on the teevee selling thenext war (and or the next round of war toys), and the pattern becomes fairly obvious.

Comments are closed.