Monday, June 28, 2010

THE ARROGANCE OF POWER I: GENERALLY SPEAKING – MORRIS PUBLISHING’s shameless hagiography of retiring General (ignoring the cancellation of flyover)

Last week the St. Augustine Record and Florida Times-Union reported there was going to be a flyover by two F-15s and two F-22s Saturday, to commemorate the retirement party of General Douglas Burnett as Florida’s National Guard (FNG) Adjutant General.
A requests for information about the spending and approval of this waste was met with passive-aggressive response from FNG, whose minon said everyone was so busy planning the flyover party that no one could find the time until “next week” to respond.
It is now “next week” and there has still been no response.
But FNG cancelled the flyover.
FNG cancelled the flyover 4.5 hours after a complaint was filed with DOD’s Inspector General.
Then the St. Augustine Record and the Florida Times-Union did not share this information with their readers. Their news stories were full of hagiography about General Douglas Burnett, but did not report the cancellation of the flyover.
Both the St. Augustine Record and Florida Times-Union are owned by MORRIS PUBLISHING of Augusta, Georgia, whose owners announced that readers would notice “no change” as a result of the bankruptcy.
They got that one right – MORRIS’ newspapers are still mediocre. I should know – I pay to read them every day and I find them often shallow.
As then-FBI Associate Director W. Mark Felt (a secret source long known as "Deep Throat") said to Bob Woodward in a scene in a parking garage in the movie, “All the President’s Men, “I hate shallowness.”
Cancellation of a flyover constituting waste, fraud and abuse is news. Failure to cover cancellation of a flyover constituting waste, fraud and abuse indicates that the St. Augustine Record and Florida Times-Union are badly in need of an ombudsperson, as at the New York Times and other quality newspapers.
Meanwhile, you can call it Chain Gang Journalism. Call it hopelessly provincial. Call it biased and prejudiced in favor of all things military by MORRIS PUBLISHING’s monopoly in Northeast Florida.
But the fact remains that when there’s waste in the National Guard, MORRIS PUBLISHING doesn’t think it’s news – they’d rather let you eat handouts from the Pentagon’s propaganda machine and its local poohbahs. To whom do they think they’re talkin?

Hal Holbrook as FBI Associate Director W. MARK FELT: "I hate shallowness"

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