Last month I reported that the Army had hired public relations firm Hass MS&L to provide “exclusive editorial content” to military bloggers, consisting of “an official counter to the perceived unwillingness of the mainstream media to report the ‘good news’ from Iraq and the war on terror,” according to national security reporter William Arkin.
The first such content has surfaced, and it’s being panned as “lame.”
The Pentagon’s plan, revealed online last month by several people who were invited to participate, has the PR firm sending content to selected military bloggers, according to several bloggers who were invited to participate in the program.
“The Army believes that military blogs are a valuable medium for reaching out to soldiers,” wrote Hass MS&L account executive Charlie Kondek in an email sent out Jan. 6.
Noah Shachtman on Monday received and published the first content he received under this program, while simultaneously calling it “almost comically lame.”
“I wasn’t expecting much. After all, the Defense Department has been cracking down on blogs, lately,” he wrote. “But still. I figured what we’d get in our in-boxes wouldn’t be this bad: two Wonder bread-bland profiles of Army reservists.”
The content sounds more like hand-picked soldiers asked to speak only bright sunny positive things about military life. Indeed, the content reads almost like a recruitment ad.
Go read the whole thing and ask yourself this: Does the Pentagon really think we’re that stupid?