Thursday, May 26, 2005

Rumsfeld on the Speed of News 

Poor Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld just can't keep up with the news. Or more to the point, he can't keep up with the spread of bad news. During an address to the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, Rumsfeld described the rapid pace that news moves globally nowadays as a new wartime challenge:
"We'll need to develop considerably more sophisticated ways of using these new means of communication that are now available to reach the many and diverse audiences," he said.
Apparently all this newfangled technology that is being used to spread information (true or false), such as the internet, e-mail, cell phones, and digital cameras has been just too much for the military to keep up with. For some reason, he seems to be under the impression that it's all really, really new as well:
"This is really the first war in history that is being conducted in an era of multiple global satellite television networks, 24-hour news outlets with live coverage of terrorist attacks, disasters and combat operations," Rumsfeld said.
Is he kidding? Let's just set aside the notion that previous wars and military actions haven't been covered live in the internet age. He's lamenting live coverage of combat operations? The military embeds journalists in their units. They encourage this live coverage! They just don't like it when the coverage reveals less than glorious actions on the parts of the US military or civilian workers, or when one of those reporters is on hand to record and report on a terrorist attack as it's happening. Welcome to the Information Age, Rummy! It's been a while, but we're glad you finally figured out that we're here.

Now about those "sophisticated ways of using these new means of communication." Yeah, it's so sophisticated. These blog things are so high-tech and complex. Digital cameras - yikes! Where do people get these things? And you know what else might be a good idea? Stop doing things that either violate international law, human rights or the rules of war, or that give people the impression that you're violating these things. Hmm, what an idea...

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Posted by Beth Henderson at 1:15 PM