Internal Pentagon documents repeatedly refer to the military analysts as “message force multipliers” or “surrogates” who could be counted on to deliver administration “themes and messages” to millions of Americans “in the form of their own opinions.”
Though many analysts are paid network consultants, making $500 to $1,000 per appearance, in Pentagon meetings they sometimes spoke as if they were operating behind enemy lines, interviews and transcripts show. Some offered the Pentagon tips on how to outmaneuver the networks, or as one analyst put it to Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, “the Chris Matthewses and the Wolf Blitzers of the world.” Some warned of planned stories or sent the Pentagon copies of their correspondence with network news executives. Many — although certainly not all — faithfully echoed talking points intended to counter critics.
“Good work,” Thomas G. McInerney, a retired Air Force general, consultant and Fox News analyst, wrote to the Pentagon after receiving fresh talking points in late 2006. “We will use it.”" NY Times
Yes, and those who did not "play ball" were systematically excluded from access by the Pentagon. The MSM picked up those cues (presumably transmitted by the Administration) and stopped talking to many of the best people.
I was invited to one briefing at the Pentagon. At the meeting, many of those mentioned in this article were present. The purpose of the meeting was to give Rumsfeld the chance to explain the Abu Ghraib mess.
I asked some awkward questions and was not invited again. pl