Our colleague Greg Jaffe reports that the Pentagon has spent about $75,000 and plans to shell out an additional $15,000 to spruce up the hallway — and, in the process, honor not just journalists, but also the Pentagon’s message massagers.
“The updated corridor will pay tribute to the department’s public affairs mission and to journalists — including those who have been killed in the line of duty,” said Pentagon spokesman George Little. “Many hallways in the Pentagon tell the stories and history of the incredible men and women who serve in the U.S. military. It’s appropriate to honor public affairs officers and reporters who tell those stories beyond the Pentagon.”
So what does $90,000 in hallway decoration buy these days? A large backlit reproduction of the New York Times’ front page marking the killing of Osama bin Laden. Wall-mounted exhibits that show the different media the Pentagon uses to get out its message: print, television, photography and social media.
And there are subtle paeans to the Pentagon’s massive public affairs force. “The growing power of technology significantly expanded the traditional 9 to 5 operations of military public affairs officers,” one exhibit reads.
Pentagon officials insist the corridor is a work in process. They plan to add a small screen with the names of correspondents killed in the line of duty. Perhaps pictures of legendary journalists from the past, including a shot of Walter Cronkite and Andy Rooney in uniform during World War II.
“How do you have a wall without Walter Cronkite on it?” asked Army Lt. Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman involved in the redecorating.
The reporters, who occupy a small warren of cubicles about 30 yards from the fancy new corridor, have also done a little bit of lower-cost redecorating, taping up a piece of paper with the words “Korresponts Koreedoor” on the wall by the door.
Clintons in ads
What do this election cycle’s most watched presidential advertisements have in common?
Of course, many of them feature grainy black-and-white images of the other guy and ominous voice-overs. Plenty of factory workers in hard hats. And there’s the “and I approved this message” line that we’ve all heard a few times too many.
But there’s another common theme among the most-aired advertisements: the Clintons.
Of the 20 top ads (10 from each campaign), four of them feature a Clinton. Two of GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s ads show Hillary Rodham Clinton, while two of President Obama’s star Bill.