Feb
13
2013

The Pentagon's Budget Crunch: No Dissenting Views

scr_130212-D-VO565-011cWe've noted many times that when it comes to corporate media coverage of the so-called budget "sequester"–the immediate cuts to military and social spending set to hit in a matter of weeks–what matters most is what will happen to the military.  The Washington Post had a whole piece (2/13/13) devoted to yet another round of complaints from military leaders–without a single comment from anyone who might take the view that cutting military spending would not be such a disaster.

"Defense Officials Again Sound Alarm on Sequestration," said the Post headline, signaling that readers were probably well aware by now that this perspective has been heard loud and clear. Steve Vogel was reporting on a Senate Armed Forces Committee hearing that featured a series of military leaders warning of the disaster to come– "the looming sequestration cuts represent a dire and unpre­cedented threat to the U.S. military."

The quotes all reiterated that point: "The wolf is at the door," we may return to "a hollow Army," military forces would be "degraded and unready," and on a scale of 1 to 10, "it sure feels like a 10."

Apparently the Post's idea of balance is quoting spokespeople from different branches of the military–the Army's point of view, but also someone from the Marine Corps!

Near the end, Vogel writes:

The military panel met with a sympathetic audience Tuesday, as most members of the Senate panel expressed support for ­protecting the defense budget from automatic, across-the-board cuts.

The senators' failure to challenge the military line is all the more reason to seek out a different perspective;  say, someone who would point out that military spending skyrocketed since the 9/11 attacks, and the current round of reductions–both as part of the sequester and a separate set of budget cuts–still leave total military spending levels at around 2006 levels.

There are military analysts who could provide a different take on the supposed crisis in military spending. An article like this could use another point of view.

 

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.