Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Editorial Comment on DoD and the Office of Secretary of Defense's need for Damage Control (((RE: Ed Schultz cancelled on Armed Forces Radio)))

Letter Sent to the Washington Post, Columbia Journalism Review, Ed Schultz, on Monday, October 17, 2005

To the Editor,

Yes, this item is all over the internet -- Air America's Ed Schultz was cancelled on Armed Forces Radio over the Bush and US Soldiers videoconferencing flap.

And this is ridiculous -- (rumor has it, ad nauseum) that 'someone' is dictating from Rumsfeld down who and who should not be on the air or on the Pentagon Channel. If you want to protest, the best thing to do is send something to http://www.defenselink.com/.

There is nothing wrong with Secretary Alison Barber coaching soldiers for the Presdient -- we all do it -- in industry, in government, what have you. This is a media - drenched society. She was doing her job -- but we did not have to see her doing her job, or see how she was delegated the task of dictating to the soldiers their camera-angles, but it was her job nonetheless. I can relate, since it is my job many times as well.

What was sloppy and leaden-handed was the way that Mr. Bush did not have his Communications Directorate to control the situation, and now they are scrambling for so much control that there is no moderation. Instead of a struggle for a story, we are getting way too much news and using the soldiers like puppets, and WE CAN SEE WHAT'S BEHIND THE CURTAIN! We should not see these things. We should not see this much.

Ed Schultz is viewed as a folksy Limbaugh for the left. He can prove so many wrong by going head-to-head with Mr. Rumsfeld, and asking him for his opinion directly. I hope that he does it. We need something fair here. We need to know when he will be rescheduled.

Abbe Buck, Principal/Publicist
(703) 753-4100
website: http://www.highvizpr.com/
weblog: http://www.highvizpr.blogspot.com/,
HighViz Consulting Group - Yahoo! Finance



Kilroy2005 said...

(10/18/2005 ) Armed Forces Radio Tunes Out Liberal Show Host

Liberal radio talker Ed Schultz was eagerly anticipating his debut yesterday on Armed Forces Radio, which agreed last month to carry his program to nearly a million soldiers around the world.

But at 7 a.m., Schultz's producer got a call from Allison Barber, the Pentagon's deputy assistant secretary for internal communications, who said without explanation that the deal was off.

Perhaps, Schultz said in an interview, it was just a coincidence that he spent the end of last week chastising Barber for coaching a group of U.S. soldiers in Iraq before a teleconference with President Bush.

"It kind of floored us," Schultz said from his studio in North Dakota. "The fact is, they don't want dissenting voices or any other kind of speech unless it's going to be promotional for them. Obviously, these people are making sure they're not going to have any opinion other than the Rush Limbaughs of the world."

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) won approval last year for a nonbinding resolution urging Armed Forces Radio to offer more political balance in programming. Limbaugh strongly objected, noting that the network carries National Public Radio and declaring, "I am the political balance."

Late last month, Manny Levy, chief of the radio division for Armed Forces Network, told Schultz's distributor, Jones Radio, by e-mail: "AFN Radio has squared away everything on our end to begin carrying the first hour of 'The Ed Schultz Show' each day, beginning Monday, October 17, 2005."

Levy added: "I'm sorry that there were so many panicked, 'I need an answer soon' calls, false starts and unexpected delays on our end. An awful lot of people in the government had (or tried to have) a hand in [the] program selection process that ended with the decision to add 'The Ed Schultz Show.' "

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said last night that Levy "got ahead of the process" and that no decision had been made in a review of which programming to add to the network. When asked about Schultz's insistence that his criticism of Barber played a role, Whitman called that "an unfortunate misperception on his part. That has nothing to do with this."

Barber was seen repeatedly on television last week asking mock questions to soldiers in Iraq, who generally gave responses similar to those they would momentarily provide to the president. Schultz played some of these clips on his show. The Pentagon said the soldiers were not rehearsed but apologized for "any perception that they were told what to say."

Barber was traveling and could not be reached yesterday. Schultz says Barber told his producer she could not say when, or whether, Armed Forces Radio would carry the show.

Read the Washington Post story

Read: Radio host says he was gagged by Pentagon

Read: Progressive Broadcaster Squelched

Read: Ed Schultz Armed Forces Radio Axing Makes Wires As Govt Denial Contradicts Letter

Tallulah Bankhead said...



Military reverses plan to add Ed Schultz show to Armed Forces Radio

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The United States' military's Armed Forces Radio has reversed a decision to add The Ed Schultz show to their lineup abroad, RAW STORY has learned.

Schultz was told Sept. 29 he would be added to the military's programming today. That decision was reversed this morning. His producers are currently seeking answers from the military.

On his program Friday, Schultz attacked Alison Barber, an Armed Forces official, over President Bush's staged conversation with U.S. troops in Iraq. Barber is an Assistant Secretary of Defense.


Armed Forces Radio provides programming to American troops wherever they are stationed abroad. The network carries newscasts from a variety of outlets, including NPR and the Associated Press, along with commentary from Rush Limbaugh, Dr. Laura, among others.


"Barber told [producer] James Holm that the Ed Shultz show would not start on AFR today because her boss, Pentagon spokesman Larry DiRita, was out of the country and couldn’t approve it. Barber also said she was going out of the country soon for a week-and-a-half. Holm asked Barber if the show would begin when DiRita and Barber returned. Barber said she couldn’t guarantee that.

"Here’s the really interesting part. Barber told Holm she heard Ed announced that he would begin on AFR during his show Friday. Shultz’s show Friday began with audio outtakes of Barber sounding foolish as she rehearsed the troops “Q&A session” with Bush."



Originally published on Monday October 17, 2005.

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