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Fox & Friends Lie About Military Blog Regulations

Reported by Janie - May 8, 2007 -

During yesterday morning's Fox & Friends (5/7/07), the hosts invited Griff Jenkins of Fox News Talk Radio, to discuss new restrictions placed on military blogs as of April 19th. Both Jenkins and the hosts attempted to spin the story, and outright lied about how the restrictions would hinder military blogging.

Last weekend was the annual Military Blogger conference, held in Virginia. Jenkins attended the event, and both he and the hosts of Fox & Friends made a huge deal out of the "mystery" guest that spoke at the conference, explicitly explaining that this guest was completely in favor of military blogging.

The "mystery guest" turned out to be George Bush, and Jenkins aired a clip of Bush's speech:

"America's military bloggers are also an important voice for the cause of freedom. You understand that defeating the terrorists requires us to defeat their ideology of hatred and death. With a more powerful vision, a vision of human liberty."

The huge deal was made to set up the rest of the story, attempting to paint the picture for viewers that despite the restrictions on blogs about to be discussed, Bush supports these blogs! He has nothing to do with these restrictions, despite being Commander-in-Chief.

After setting this up, Jenkins went into the "meat" of the story:

"These military blogs are the most accurate source of reporting on what's happening on the war front in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I suggest you take a look at it.

The Pentagon did issue on April 19th, regulations that would force the active duty troops to at least register it, but not necessarily clear every post. But it was certainly the talk of the conference, people very worried they might, you know, have the military crack down. But it doesn't seem that's the case – Matthew Burden who we heard from, said that he thought the military really liked having these, because good news stories get out: good battles, good stories, successes get out there."

Brian Kilmeade broke in, "Here's the thing. It was presented and posed as these blogs were telling the true story the Pentagon doesn't want out, but in reality if you read these blogs, they're just fascinating accounts of what day-to-day life is, and most of them seem positive. There's no spin – it's just wrong."

GJ: "That's right – these are the good, the bad, and the ugly, but it's first hand accounts, and you know you don't get that in the MSM. Burden told me about a battle the day Saddam was sentenced, on Nov. 5th. We had a running gun battle with 100 insurgents, lots of acts of valor and heroism. But interesting enough, already I was reading an article in the Guardian, and the MSM is adding some spin because they're saying guys like Burden were being silenced because they didn't support the President's position."

Steve Doocy broke in at this point, and blatantly lied: "But they're not being silenced, they're just being told Griff, you can write a blog, just ask for permission. We're not going to read it, we're not going to edit it, just say, yeah, I'm a blogger, so that the boss knows what you're up to."

Jenkins agreed with Doocy, "That's exactly right ..."

However, despite Doocy and Jenkins claiming it's so - this is not the case. According to Major Ray Ceralde, the author of the guidelines, "It is not practical to check all communication, especially private communication. Some units may require that soldiers register their blog with the unit for identification purposes with occasional spot checks after an initial review. Other units may require a review before every posting."

So according to the author, they WILL be reading, and many units will require review before every posting.

What was also not mentioned is that this does not just cover blog posts - but postings on websites, as well as personal e-mail communications. And not only are those in the military covered by this directive, but also contractors and family members.

According to one military blogger, "If I'm a commander, and think that any slip-up gets me screwed, I'm making it easy: No blogs."

None of this was mentioned on Fox & Friends, while the hosts chose to outright lie to protect the Bush Administration.