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Trump Administration Shuts Down Stars and Stripes

FJAG

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The Pentagon has ordered the military's independent newspaper, Stars and Stripes, to cease publication at the end of the month, despite Congressional efforts to continue funding the century-old publication.

The order to halt publication by Sept. 30, and dissolve the organization by the end of January, is the latest salvo in the Pentagon's move earlier this year to cut the $15.5 million in funding for the paper from the department's budget. And it is a reflection of the Trump administration's broader animosity for the media and members of the press.

Members of Congress have objected to the defunding move for months. And senators sent a letter to Defense Secretary Mark Esper this week urging him to reinstate funding. The letter, signed by 15 senators — including Republicans and Democrats — also warns Esper that the department is legally prohibited from canceling a budget program while a temporary continuing resolution funding the federal government is in effect.

“Stars and Stripes is an essential part of our nations freedom of the press that serves the very population charged with defending that freedom,” the senators said in the letter.

And Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in a separate letter to Esper in late August, also voiced opposition to the move, calling Stripes “a valued “hometown newspaper” for the members of the Armed Forces, their families, and civilian employees across the globe.” He added that “as a veteran who has served overseas, I know the value that the Stars and Stripes brings to its readers.”

...

See rest of article here.

:worms:
 

daftandbarmy

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FJAG said:
See rest of article here.

:worms:

Given the advances in social media (it's free) I don't see why they couldn't figure out how to continue some type of publication that might even be more effective at reaching even more service people.
 

SeaKingTacco

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The US DoD may live to regret this.

Stars and Stripes (or something similar), IMHO is unlikely to go away.  It fills a need as the worldwide newspaper of US Military personnel.

Without DoD funding, any sense of editorial control could be lost as the newspaper relies on advertising and does it's own thing, regardless of what the leadership in Washington want to send, from time to time, as messaging.
 

Navy_Pete

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SeaKingTacco said:
The US DoD may live to regret this.

Stars and Stripes (or something similar), IMHO is unlikely to go away.  It fills a need as the worldwide newspaper of US Military personnel.

Without DoD funding, any sense of editorial control could be lost as the newspaper relies on advertising and does it's own thing, regardless of what the leadership in Washington want to send, from time to time, as messaging.

Agree, and I liked reading their stuff as well. It's weird they would target this specifically, and not really sure of the motivation. If they didn't like the editorial tone, they are now pushing everyone into the wide open ecosystem. Also, their annual budget is only $15.5 million (out of a $738 BILLION dollar US defence budget). It's a really weird and specific cut that has no actual impact on the overall budget. Odd thing to target right before an election, as it will probably just piss off some people that voted for him last time. I really don't see any upside here.
 

Brad Sallows

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Administrations cut popular things to make points about budgets.  For example, during recent debt ceiling standoffs, popular attractions like national parks were closed rather than finding savings somewhere that had less impact.
 

tomahawk6

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Fake news ? All I know is what I read in the Stars and Stripes.  :rofl:

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/trump-tweets-support-for-stars-and-stripes-says-he-will-not-cut-funding-to-news-organization-1.643942
 

Blackadder1916

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SeaKingTacco said:
Without DoD funding, any sense of editorial control could be lost as the newspaper relies on advertising and does it's own thing, regardless of what the leadership in Washington want to send, from time to time, as messaging.

While the Stars and Stripes receives DOD funding, it is also a "paid subscription" publication.  I don't know when they went to that model, but I do recall (over 30 years ago) having to pay for it when stationed in Germany (and not just on our Canadian bases, but also when I was at Ramstein).  While it has always been a conduit for information from leadership, I don't think that it ever followed the "in-house corporate magazine" model that some of the other American military journals/magazines/newspapers and our Canadian counterparts did.  Even back in WW2, it was given a level of independence to function as a real newspaper that sought out stories not always complimentary to the chain of command.  What immediately comes to mind are Andy Rooney's reminiscences of his time as a reporter (and Sgt) with the Stars and Stripes in Europe and Bill Mauldin's cartoons pissing off Patton.
 

Good2Golf

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tomahawk6 said:
Fake news ? All I know is what I read in the Stars and Stripes.  :rofl:

https://www.stripes.com/news/us/trump-tweets-support-for-stars-and-stripes-says-he-will-not-cut-funding-to-news-organization-1.643942

Not fake news, just updated news.

The perception is CinC did nothing to address the cuts until today, when he (or perhaps his advisors) connected the dots between the potential alienation of a portion of the service personnel because of the planned cut.
 

FJAG

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Good2Golf said:
Not fake news, just updated news.

The perception is CinC did nothing to address the cuts until today, when he (or perhaps his advisors) connected the dots between the potential alienation of a portion of the service personnel because of the planned cut.

So it's a false flag spin. Esper said it would be cut S&S even though the House specifically provided funding for it. (That's kind of like funding for our reserves. Regardless what it's given for DND can always find a better use for the money)

Now that Trump is on the rocks for his attitude about "loser" soldiers, he comes through as a "white knight" to try to persuade the rank and file that he really gives a **** for them.

My cynicism meter just went off the scales.

:dunno:
 

Blackadder1916

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A move to defund Stars and Stripes is not a new story.  This, from Star and Stripes, back in February

DOD proposes stripping Stars and Stripes’ funding in 2021 budget request
https://www.stripes.com/news/us/dod-proposes-stripping-stars-and-stripes-funding-in-2021-budget-request-1.618273
By COREY DICKSTEIN AND NIKKI WENTLING | STARS AND STRIPES  Published: February 10, 2020

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has proposed a cut to funding for Stars and Stripes as part of its $705.4 billion budget request submitted Monday to Congress, a senior defense official said.

The proposed cuts to the editorially independent news organization, which is partially funded by the Pentagon, were a product of the recent defense-wide review ordered by Defense Secretary Mark Esper, said Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon’s acting comptroller. That review sought to find funding that could be moved from non-military applications into warfighting coffers.

“We have essentially decided coming into the modern age that newspaper is probably not the best way we communicate any longer,” McCusker told reporters Monday at the Pentagon during a briefing to discuss the Defense Department’s fiscal year 2021 budget proposal.

Stars and Stripes’ ombudsman, Ernie Gates, on Twitter defended the mission of the media organization against McCusker’s comment.

“Stars and Stripes' mission is not to communicate the DOD or command message, but to be an independent, First Amendment publication that serves the troops — especially deployed troops,” Gates wrote. “So 'we communicate' misses the mission.”

It was not immediately clear Monday how much money the Pentagon proposed cutting from Stars and Stripes. McCusker did not provide those details, and other Pentagon officials declined to comment or did not return requests for comment.

Pentagon officials first informed Stars and Stripes’ leadership of the proposed budget cuts to the news organization Monday morning, after The Wall Street Journal published a story identifying the planned funding reduction, citing draft budget documents.

Max Lederer, Stars and Stripes’ publisher, said Pentagon officials told him Monday that the budget cut would “eliminate operating and maintenance funds for Stars and Stripes,” which amounts to about $7 million and about 35% of Stripes’ annual expenses.

“The preparation for the defense budget submission to the president’s budget takes considerable time. However, I was not informed prior to this morning that there was a change in Stars and Stripes funding being considered or would be proposed,” Lederer wrote in an email to all Stripes’ employees. “Consequently, I and the Stripes leadership have not had an opportunity to study and plan for this change. We are now beginning that discussion and evaluating options, including ways to continue operations in some form.”

Most of Stars and Stripes’ funding comes from sales, subscriptions and advertising, but it depends on the Defense Department subsidy to cover the expensive and sometimes dangerous task of overseas reporting and distribution.

Lederer said the loss in funding would “definitely reduce” Stars and Stripes’ news reporting abilities.

“The men and women who sacrifice every day for the safety of our nation deserve the objective and balanced unique content produced by Stars and Stripes,” he said.

Esper has said since his Senate confirmation to become defense secretary that he would review the Pentagon’s spending on support agencies that aren’t directly involved in warfighting, including so-called Fourth Estate programs.

“We will reform the department, beginning with the Fourth Estate,” Esper said during his confirmation hearing in July 2019. “No reform is too small.”



And another President's view of the publication

image.jpg


On a 1962 visit to Germany, former President Eisenhower reads a copy of Stars and Stripes. As the top U.S. military man in Europe during World War II, Eisenhower was extremely supportive of the paper's right to publish the news without command interference. His backing proved crucial in battles with those under him who begged to differ, notably Gen. George Patton.
 

Jarnhamar

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[quote author=FJAG]

My cynicism meter just went off the scales.

:dunno:
[/quote]

Without a doubt.
 

dimsum

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Blackadder1916 said:
While the Stars and Stripes receives DOD funding, it is also a "paid subscription" publication.  I don't know when they went to that model, but I do recall (over 30 years ago) having to pay for it when stationed in Germany (and not just on our Canadian bases, but also when I was at Ramstein). 

It is free in deployed locations.  It isn't free in CONUS or US permanent bases (you buy them at the NEX/AAFES/whatever).

I really liked reading the Stars and Stripes when deployed.  It seemed to give a pretty unbiased view, mostly b/c it had articles from both slants.

And yes, I totally agree that un-defunding (if that's even a word) the S&S is to deflect from the "losers" article that he definitely, totally doesn't care about.  ::)
 

Good2Golf

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FJAG said:
My cynicism meter just went off the scales.

:dunno:

Mine broke on the high-side a while ago...really not worth fixing it at the moment... :not-again:
 

Donald H

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FJAG said:
See rest of article here.

:worms:

The Dems and their media are attaching this one to Trump's derogatory statements on dead and woulded soldiers. Has anybody mentioned Trump's revulsion toward war amputees yet?
 

FJAG

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Donald H said:
The Dems and their media are attaching this one to Trump's derogatory statements on dead and woulded soldiers. Has anybody mentioned Trump's revulsion toward war amputees yet?

Your wish is my command:

Trump didn't want wounded veterans to attend a military parade because 'nobody wants to see that,' report says

See here.

;D
 
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