There’s an astounding investigative piece in the New York Times today about who the Pentagon used the analysts hired by TV networks to control the messages about military affairs in the post-Sept. 11 world.
In many cases, David Barstow documents, these retired officers echoed Pentagon talking points on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and other networks. In exchange for their allegiance, the analysts were given royal treatment at the Pentagon, special tours in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay, and extensive access to contacts within the military. As many of the analysts received income from firms involved in military contracting, such contacts were likely quite lucrative.
It’s a compelling story with a good outrage factor. But the Times also did a tremendous job putting together multimedia to accompany it. (Click here to check it out.)
I like that the presentation, divided into three chapters, forms a narrative. Occasionally, flash-based presentations leave me trying to piece together a story from linked video, audio and documents. Here, David Barstow walks viewers through one part of his story: the Pentagon’s response to so-called Generals’ Revolt against then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Narrated by Barstow, the piece combines static images, video, audio and documents to good effect.
I would love to be able to pull this kind of project off someday.