Yeah. Wow. Geez. It's almost as if NBC Universal is owned by GE, almost as if the GE Energy and Technology Infrastructure subsidiaries have vested interests in the waging and outcomes of wars. I mean, with all due respect to Matthew Yglesias, who's at least a little tongue-in-cheek, this is just crazy:
But rather than focusing on McCaffrey and his issues, it’s worth contemplating the breathtaking lack of integrity on display from the television networks here. As I said, Barstow published a piece on this back in April. None of the TV networks addressed the issue he raised in anything resembling a serious manner. And, again, we now have NBC News caught flat-out in the midst of corruption, deceiving their viewers. And NBC News isn’t sorry. They’re not apologizing. They’re not ashamed. Because they’re beyond shame. They never had a reputation for honor, so they don’t even see this sort of thing as damaging.It's like accusing Budweiser of dishonor for their drinkability ad campaign, or Mike Ditka and his raging boner of dishonor for giving testimonials in favor of Viagra. When you see a military expert on NBC hawking some war, it's just GE hawking its own product. It's paid commercial time. It's product placement.
Now I suppose we could wax nostalgic for the days of independent networks or Chinese walls or what have you, but the truth is that this sort of thing is going to become even more prevalent, no matter how many turgid Times articles appear to question the integrity of this or that operation. Now that we can no longer build a billion new homes a month a zillion miles farther from any densely populated economic center, warmaking is the sole productive activity left in the American economy. Warmaking and energy extraction, the latter a game of inevitably diminishing returns to be sure, but nonetheless. So the idea that the General Electrics of the world are going to let their marketing arms, which is to say, the television networks, movie studios, "content providers" that they own, act as judicious guides to the ethical policy implications of blowing up Wherethefuckistan is palpably ridiculous. Living in a realm of Platonic pure-form divided government counterbalanced by free-press fourth-estate held accountable by informed enfranchised citizenry blah blah bloggity blawg is just the teetotaling post-Harvard civics-student version of staying constantly stoned: tethered to reality, and yet floating free of it. Complaining that NBC is in the tank for the defense industry is like complaining that Pravda was in the tank for the Red Army.