FGI points out a wonderful take on the New York Times story that made my head explode, the one about defense contractors who also work as news analysts, generally not disclosing their conflict of interest – or that their talking points come from the Pentagon (where those defense contracts come from, so long as you deliver the right message – we’re winning.) I called them “shills.” The Pentagon calls them “message force multipliers.” Jon Stewart pictures them as machine guns spewing post-it notes.
The old-school in-depth investigative journalism in the Times gives us a lot to think about. Jon Stewart pulls out the good bits and makes them funny: for example, embedded journalism is actually an exchange program, with the military embedded in journalism.
Sadly, I can’t embed the piece here because WordPress doesn’t allow the kind of flash that Comedy Central uses, and the content from Comedy Central that used to be on the more user-friendly YouTube was removed so that we’d have to go to the Comedy Central site and watch their ads. So go to FGI to watch it while I mumble to myself about copyright law.
It’s beautiful to see how a little sarcasm can take ideas from a long and complex news story and distill it to . . . what do you call them? Laughing points? No wonder so many people get their news from Jon Stewart.