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« The "Bridging the Gap" conference | Main | Even I have my limits when it comes to TV »

March 04, 2005



You made a fair point -- Full disclosure is the enemy of military recruitment. It's common for military recruiters to lie about what a new enlistee should expect. There's actually a good article about this in last month's Esquire.

Tung Yin

What's a good military propagandist to do? Aren't all those slickly-produced recruitment commercials designed to make being a soldier seem cool and fun enough?

Answer: Wait for another Top Gun to come along. I remember hearing that enlistment in the Navy skyrocketed after that came out in 1986.


HILARIOUS POST. Of course people go the Fox News first if they want to know about anything in the world. They all end up knowing nothing in the end. Not to say that the CNN is any better, but at least they try.

Law Monkey

I read recently (within the last month) that recruitment numbers were UP for the air force and the navy. People are enlisting, just not in the casualty-prone Army and Marines.

This link paints a rosier picture, but it's only through September 2004.


Just remember that people join the military for things other than dieing. What do you think those reasons could be?


Great post. So true about Fox News.

Tung Yin

Of course, the kid who watches CNN asks, "Dad, why does President Bush say that Saddam Hussein is a bad guy? CNN doesn't show him torturing people or anything.

Kevin Jon Heller

That's not exactly a fair summary of the memo you link to. I'll trust the BBC's sympathy for Eason's position more than loony right-winger Charles Krauthammer's criticism of it. And CNN has been far from silent about Saddam's activities. This article for example.

Tung Yin

That's not exactly a fair summary of the memo you link to.

True, but I thought it was in the same spirit of hyperbole as:

Son: Gee, dad, I didn't see any wounded or killed soldiers.

Dad: What were you watching?

Son: Fox News.

Fox News is pretty clearly biased toward the Republican party, but you don't seriously mean to suggest that Fox News never talks about dead U.S. soldiers, just that it downplays the human toll in favor of promoting the Bush Administration's line. That may be a fair criticism, and your imagination of the father-son conversation -- which I did find quite funny -- is a nice rhetorical way of making the point. Perhaps my CNN example isn't quite as funny, but I think it's in the same vein.

Kevin Jon Heller

Point well taken...

Is the post meant to be a criticism of the military for, "blaming the liberal media", just a general observation, what? I ask because there seems to be a defensive/derisive tone in your post for an article and quote that seems pretty matter of fact.

1) There are recruitment problems.
2) Parents are or likely are increasingly advising kids not to join the military.
3) The military thinks the media likely contributes to this effect.

I mean it's not like the Pentagon criticized the media for putting up images of dead soldiers. Your post seems to criticize the military for citing what seems like a pretty reasonable and obvious cause of downward recruitment.

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