Winslow Wheeler: Media Plays Dead for Panetta Virus

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Winslow Wheeler

Yesterday, the Nieman Watchdog journalism group at Harvard asked me to evaluate how well the press is scrutinizing Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. Basically, it’s not; instead, Panetta seems to be free of informed, skeptical questioning; he must be absolutely delighted with the treatment he is receiving.

Why is the press ignoring Panetta’s frenzied rhetoric and data-free myths?

The defense secretary likens budget-cutters to Nazis and makes assertions that simply aren’t true — but the media don’t seem to care, writes Winslow Wheeler.

The silence in the press about the overheated rhetoric and dubious myths from Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta makes for a very unhappy comparison of today’s defense journalism compared to previous eras when, for example, SecDef Casper Weinberger was the subject of serious critical analysis.

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Phi Beta Iota:  Leon Panetta, like Bob Gates before him, is a posturing pimp for the military-industrial complex that pays 5% bribes to get 95% discounts on the taxpayers treasure.  He could not stand up to fifteen minutes on the same stage with any one of us–Chuck Spinney, Winslow Wheeler, Ralph Peters, Bob Scales, etcetera.