An April 20, 2008 New York Times story by David Barstow, “MESSAGE MACHINE: Behind TV Analysts, Pentagon’s Hidden Hand,” won a Pulitzer Prize for the explosive claim that the Pentagon had cultivated “military analysts” in a “trojan horse” campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the terrorist prison at Guantanamo Bay.
On December 1 of this year, the Washington Times reported that an investigation by the Pentagon’s inspector general, spurred by Barstow’s reporting, found no wrongdoing, and quoted a spokesman for former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld saying the New York Times should return its Pulitzer. But the New York Times itself did not report the Pentagon's vindication until Christmas Day, on page A20.
Barstow made sure to mention claims of Idaho groups "stockpiling food and survival gear, and forming armed neighborhood groups," though he doesn't present evidence that's actually occurring in significant numbers. He also sidled up to allegations (from a "civil rights activist") "of a puzzling return of racist rhetoric and violence" in the region, before letting the activist admit "it would be unfair to attribute any of these incidents to the Tea Party movement." So why bring it up in the first place?