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Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:23 AM

petraeus scandal is reported with compelled veneration of all things military


Petraeus Scandal is Reported with Compelled Veneration of All Things Military
The reverence for the former CIA Director is part of a wider religious-like worship of the national security state.
by Glenn Greenwald

A prime rule of US political culture is that nothing rivets, animates or delights the political media like a sex scandal. From Bill Clinton, Gary Hart, and Eliot Spitzer to John Edwards, Larry Craig and David Vitter, their titillation and joy is palpable as they revel in every last arousing detail. This giddy package is delivered draped in a sanctimonious wrapping: their excitement at reporting on these scandals is matched only by their self-righteous condemnations of the moral failings of the responsible person. All of these behaviors have long been constant, inevitable features of every political sex scandal - until yesterday. Now, none of these sentiments is permitted because the newest salacious scandal features at its center Gen. David Petraeus, who resigned yesterday as CIA Director, citing an extramarital affair.
. . . . . .

Gen. Petraeus is the single most revered man in the most venerated American institution: the National Security State and, specifically, its military. As a result, all the rules are different. Speaking ill of David Petraeus - or the military or CIA as an institution - is strictly prohibited within our adversarial watchdog press corps. Thus, even as he resigns in disgrace, leading media figures are alternatively mournful and worshipful as they discuss it.
. . . . . .



Meanwhile, Michael Hastings - whose Rolling Stone cover story ended Gen. McChrystal's career by including numerous intemperate quotes and, in doing so, revealingly prompted widespread animosity among his media colleagues for the crime of Making a General Look Bad - was on MSNBC yesterday with Martin Bashir. Hastings explained how the media has been devoted to Petraeus' glorification and thus ignored all the substantive reasons why Petraeus should have received far more media scrutiny and criticism in the past. In response, Bashir - who has previously demonstrated his contempt for anyone who speaks ill of a US General - expressed his anger at Hastings ("That's a fairly harsh assessment of a man who is regarded by many in the military as an outstanding four-star general") and then quickly cut him off just over two minutes into the segment.
. . . .

There are several revealing lessons about this media swooning for Petraeus even as he exits from a scandal that would normally send them into tittering delight. First, military worship is the central religion of America's political and media culture. The military is by far the most respected and beloved institution among the US population - a dangerous fact in any democracy - and, even assuming they wanted to (which they don't), our brave denizens of establishment journalism are petrified of running afoul of that kind of popular sentiment.



. . .

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/11/10-5

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Reply petraeus scandal is reported with compelled veneration of all things military (Original post)
niyad Nov 2012 OP
WooWooWoo Nov 2012 #1
niyad Nov 2012 #2
eyewall Nov 2012 #3
Laurian Nov 2012 #4

Response to niyad (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:36 AM

1. lucky for him he was out of the military when this broke

since having an affair is actually illegal and punishable by courts martial under UCMJ.

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Response to WooWooWoo (Reply #1)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 12:41 AM

2. do you honestly think someone like him would ever have faced court martial for an affair? he

certainly did not face one for his sheer, bloody incompetence.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 03:31 AM

3. Is it that, as the article states

"our brave denizens of establishment journalism are petrified of running afoul of that kind of popular sentiment"


or are they actually shackled by the establishment media's partnership with the military industrial complex.

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Response to niyad (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 05:54 AM

4. I love Martin Bashir, but I was disappointed with the

way he dismissed Hastings' criticisms of Petraeus. It will take a lot to undo the hero worship that has surrounded the general. Of course, it Petraeus is viewed as anything less than the perfect general, this fall from grace is not so sensational.

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