Oh boy, I smell trouble ...
The Wired's Danger Room had this yesterday;
Military Report: Secretly 'Recruit or Hire Bloggers'
A study, written for U.S. Special Operations Command, suggested "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers."And this;
This 2006 report for the Joint Special Operations University, "Blogs and Military Information Strategy," offers a third approach -- co-opting bloggers, or even putting them on the payroll. "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering," write the report's co-authors, James Kinniburgh and Dororthy Denning.
Information strategists can consider clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers or other persons of prominence…to pass the U.S. message. … On the other hand, such operations can have a blowback effect, as witnessed by the public reaction following revelations that the U.S. military had paid journalists to publish stories in the Iraqi press under their own names. People do not like to be deceived, and the price of being exposed is lost credibility and trust.Don't the different branches of the Bush Grindhouse talk to each other?
An alternative strategy is to “make” a blog and blogger. The process of boosting the blog to a position of influence could take some time, however, and depending on the person running the blog, may impose a significant educational burden, in terms of cultural and linguistic training before the blog could be put online to any useful effect. Still, there are people in the military today who like to blog.
Someone ought to wake up these military people, as what they are proposing is already in place.
It's called Fox News.
Along with those like Matt Sludge, Michelle "Stalkin" Malkin, Dennis Miller, Ann Coulter and a whole bevy of other Right Wing, Freakshow bloggers and pundits who echo Fox News, simply recite the Bush Grindhouse talking points, or just make up their own stories.
And there's The Lincoln Group.
You remember them, don't you? ... The propaganda company the Pentagon hired to plant pro-USA stories in the Iraqi newspapers and media?
Is this a turf fight in-the-making?
Will the propaganda pro's have to compete against the pajama-clad, basement dwellers?
Holy Baghdad Bob, what a bubbling bruhaha, Batman!
Wait a minute!
How do we know this story, this study, isn't a planted piece?
They're trying to flush something out .... Or maybe, its to see how many of the previously-referenced Right Wing, Freakshow bloggers and pundits raise their hands, salivating at the opportunity to start shoveling it for the government.
Cuts down on the recruiting costs, I suppose.
Bonus Spiked Media Riffs
The Carpetbagger Report: The military plan to ‘clandestinely’ put bloggers on the payroll
Jeff Fecke/Shakesville: Working Undercover for the Man
When A Michelle Malkin Quits The O'Reilly Factor, And No One is Around To Hear it, Does It Make A Sound?
White House "Embarrassed"; Bush Victory Strategy Speech Written By PR Agency; Gave President Wrong Folder; Iraqi Newspaper Prints Slams Against Murtha, Kerry, Pelosi
Rumsfeld Blames Contractor, If Media Plant Stories True, But Defends Outsourcing Program; Says "Still Gathering Facts"; If It Turns Out Positive, Will Be Adopted Into New 'National Victory Strategy' Plan
Secretary Says No Reflection That We Don't Know What's Going On; More Bush Troubles As Rice Backtracks, Corrects Comments, Blames Lincoln Group; Meant To Say Was Surprised Levees Breached, Not By Hamas Election Victory; Backs Pace That There's No Civil War