Civilian and Military Policy

The Military and the Mass Media:
Their Parasitic Relationship and How to Fix It

In the realm of civil-military relations, there is one aspect that makes itself readily apparent, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, and that is the deteriorating relationship between the military and one of the most elite segments of society, the mass media.   It is likely indisputable that there has always been an underlying current of tension between the military and the press.   In the Civil War, General William T. Sherman is quoted to have said “I hate newspapermen.   They come into camp and pick up camp rumors and print them as facts.   I regard them as spies, which, in truth, they are.   If I killed them all, there would be news from Hell before breakfast” (Lewis).  
With the almost daily advancements in technology and communication, the ever changing global landscape, the staunchly liberal views of American society, and the growing trend of passive ignorance among its people, the gap between the military and the mass media has become more pronounced over time and increasingly dangerous, for both parties, and for the public.   These factors have made the possibility of a relationship, based on mutual trust, understanding and a common goal unattainable, and have, in fact, twisted the relationship into a parasitic one, based on lies and self interest.  

At the most basic level, tensions arise between the military and the press simply because they operate in different environments.   Wars require silence, secrecy, and surprise, thus they are fought (and won) behind closed-doors (Porch).   The press, by its very nature, can and does take away from this thin veil, by striving to uncover that which the military tries so hard to keep quiet.   American society, and thus the media, is liberal and believes in optimism, moral righteousness, reasonable rationality, and diplomacy to solve conflict, while the military believes in realism, the evil of man, force, and the...