National Pentagon Radio

Posted on August 25, 2010


No, I wasn’t the guy that came up with that pithy translation of the NPR acronym. That happened quite some time ago, when NPR became, rather than a check on the government and military it reports on, its chief propaganda outlet. Just look at this pie-eyed report on Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ proposed Marines of the future. The story is basically a press kit of Gate’s address to the Marines Memorial Association last week.

The segment starts out with a joyous refrain of the “Halls of Montezuma”—and Melissa Block’s celebration of “the corps’ legacy of hitting the beaches to take on Americas foes”. The segment ends with a bubbly reprise of Gates’ thesis–that we need to invade, and invade, and invade other countries without pause for as long as we have teenagers to shanghai into the Marines. There’s plenty of counterpoint in the segment. Should the Marines kill the citizens of foreign nations via air? Or should they stick to killing people from the sea? And is that new murder assault vehicle really the best way to kill people in other countries? Why not just bomb those people?

I know it’s ridiculous to expect All Things Considered to ask other questions, such as: Why are we still planning for more invasions, with the disastrous results of the last decade? That would be what a legitimate news organization would do, if there is, in fact, one left to make such obvious queries. Unfortunately, there’s no catchy World War Two-era jingle to start out such a piece, and Tom Bowman, the [literally] narrator of the segment might have to do some actual reporting, rather than just reiterating and reinforcing Gates’s words.

Transcript here: