Military

By Paul Bremmer | March 19, 2014 | 12:05 PM EDT

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman went on PBS’s Charlie Rose show Monday night and defended President Obama’s soft foreign policy approach to the crisis in Ukraine.

Of that approach, which so far has consisted of sanctions against 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials, Friedman said:

By Matthew Balan | March 19, 2014 | 12:30 AM EDT

On Tuesday, all three broadcast network evening newscasts devoted full reports to President Obama honoring 24 members of the military – only three still living – with the Medal of Honor. CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley trumpeted how the President "righted a historic wrong. He presented the nation's highest military award to 24 Americans, after a review determined that they had been passed over because they were Hispanic or African-American or Jewish." [MP3 audio available here; video below the jump]

However, during the fifth year of former President George W. Bush's presidency, the Big Three channels furiously covered the allegations against several U.S. Marines, who were accused of killing civilians in Iraq in November 2005. Between May 17 and June 7, 2006 – a three week period – ABC, CBS, and NBC devoted three and a half hours of air time to the accusations of misconduct. These same networks aired only 52 minutes of reporting on 20 military heroes from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq during a five-year period between September 2001 and June 2006.

By Matthew Balan | March 14, 2014 | 10:54 PM EDT

ABC's World News named Rico Roman, a member of Team U.S.A. in the Sochi Paralympics, its 'Person of the Week' on Friday. Roman, an Iraq War veteran who lost his left leg after his Humvee struck an IED, is now the "the star forward of the U.S. Paralympic hockey team." Amy Robach spotlighted how the Oregon native "discovered sled hockey – an outlet from the confines of a hospital room."

The correspondent also pointed out how a significant percentage of the American Paralympics team come from the military: [video below the jump]

By Mark Finkelstein | March 7, 2014 | 8:26 AM EST

Mika Brzezinski has a jaded view of why young Americans choose to join the military.  According to the Morning Joe host, they do so "if they need the money."

Brzezinski made her comment on today's show during a segment on a book comparing the values and beliefs of the various generations of Americans. When Joe Scarborough challenged her doing-it-for-the-money claim, saying that many serve "for all the best reasons," Brzezinski began to back down.  Mika also suggested that her fellow panelists didn't know many people serving in the military, which might say more about the MSM bubble in which they exist than it does about the millenial generation. View the video after the jump.

By Matthew Balan | February 28, 2014 | 9:12 PM EST

Steve Hartman had trouble holding back his own tears on Friday's CBS Evening News, as he profiled the beyond kind act of an eight-year-old boy in Ohio. Myles Eckert, whose father was killed in Iraq when he was just a baby, enclosed a $20 bill he found in the parking lot of a Cracker Barrel restaurant in a note, and gave them to a member of the Ohio Air National Guard who was having lunch there.

Hartman interviewed both Eckert and Lieutenant Colonel Frank Dailey, who received the heartfelt message from the Gold Star son (text of Eckert's note, and CBSNews.com video of Hartman's report below the jump):

By Scott Whitlock | February 24, 2014 | 12:10 PM EST

 

The plan by Barack Obama's government to "dramatically" shrink the size of the Army to its lowest level since World War II warranted a scant one minute and 56 seconds of total coverage on Monday's morning shows. Yet, CBS, NBC and ABC devoted 19 and a half minutes to such topics as TV shows, makeup and viral videos. [See video of ABC's coverage below. MP3 audio here.] None of the networks mentioned the President, shifting the responsibility solely to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

The Today show allowed the least amount of coverage, a mere 21 seconds. This despite the program's four hour running time. Natalie Morales revealed, "Under the plan, the Army would shrink to its smallest force since the World War II build-up." She asserted that "the proposal is likely to face fierce opposition on Capitol Hill." If that's true, why devote less than 30 seconds and allow no debate? Instead, the Today anchors spent almost nine minutes on the subject of makeup and body image.

By Tim Graham | February 16, 2014 | 7:38 AM EST

The London Daily Mail reported this week that “CNN caused a firestorm when it included a war monument in Brest, a city in the former Soviet republic of Belarus, in an article on the 'world's ugliest monuments' published last month.” This isn’t Ted Turner’s CNN, where a reporter would be disciplined for saying the word “foreign” in a sentence. The online article from a travel-piece contributor was intended as humor.          

A Russian news commentator responded by suggesting the Marine Corps War Memorial – the Iwo Jima sculpture just north of Arlington National Cemetery – is “easy to mock” for its homoerotic look, and "you don't have to be very smart to get it." (video below):

By Paul Bremmer | February 3, 2014 | 6:00 PM EST

How do MSNBC hosts feel about the war in Afghanistan? Well, it may depend on who’s in the White House at the moment.

On Saturday morning’s Weekends with Alex Witt, Ms. Witt talked to fellow MSNBC host Rachel Maddow about President Obama’s tribute to Army Ranger Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg at last Tuesday’s State of the Union address. Maddow, who is certainly no fan of our wars in Afghanistan or Iraq, nonetheless reflected on the moment in a mostly positive way. Referring to the extended applause for Sgt. Remsburg, Maddow said:

By Jeffrey Meyer | January 19, 2014 | 6:31 PM EST

Tavis Smiley is known for making extreme statements that make even his fellow liberals cringe in fear. Whether he is comparing the Tea Party to Jihad or saying Republicans only oppose ObamaCare because they hate the president, the PBS host never stops making inflammatory comments.

Appearing on This Week w/ George Stephanopoulos on January 19, Smiley asserted that, “I think very quickly that in the long run, Edward Snowden, we were joking earlier, Edward Snowden might be on a postage stamp somewhere down the road. How history is going to regard what Mr. Obama has done in this moment is an open question.” [See video after jump.]

By Jeffrey Meyer | January 19, 2014 | 4:28 PM EST

CBS’s Bob Scheiffer had some harsh words for former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on his Sunday show Face the Nation surrounding the release of Gates’ new memoir “Duty.”

Schieffer fretted over whether or not Gates should have released his memoir before President Obama left office. He had  "problems" with it. The CBS host complained that, "Making the criticism at this point while the president is still a sitting president, I was very surprised that Bob Gates did that." [See video after jump.]

By Mark Finkelstein | January 19, 2014 | 12:24 PM EST

Call it Melissa Harris-Perry's "corpse-man" moment . . .

In a segment on the role of the US military during her MSNBC show this morning, Harris-Perry, quoting the Marine Corps motto, pronounced it Semper "Fee."  Marines of course pronounce it "fye" [scroll over phrase at link to hear pronunciation.]  Harris-Perry surely meant no disrespect. But it is a mark of just how detached she and so much of the liberal media is from military culture that she could make such a mistake.  Video after the jump.

By Paul Bremmer | January 16, 2014 | 11:52 AM EST

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates has been facing criticism and scorn from some media members for having the audacity to mildly criticize President Obama and some administration officials while Obama is still in office. On Tuesday, Gates appeared on the PBS NewsHour to face another round of questioning about his newly released memoir.

Midway through the interview, anchor Judy Woodruff suggested that the former defense secretary could lower morale among troops on the ground overseas: