According to the New York Slimes article titled “For Pentagon and News Media, Relations Improve With a Shift in War Coverage,” SecDef Gates is denying the enemy status of the media.

And, perhaps most important, their boss, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, has stated a view never heard from his predecessor, Donald H. Rumsfeld. “The press is not the enemy,” Mr. Gates tells military audiences, including at the service academies, “and to treat it as such is self-defeating.”

Mr. Gates, the media is NO friend of the military. If you really believe that they are, it is to your own detriment. Reading further into the story goes on to prove it…

…however, the success of the lightning-quick invasion became not the full story, but merely the early chapter of a frustrating and deadly narrative of war in Iraq.

Frustrating for who? Certainly for those of us who knew you weren’t telling the whole story!

As insurgent violence rose in 2003, echoes of that earlier conflict in Southeast Asia could be heard.

Because you kept the drumbeat going and tried to get us to believe it was headed in that direction.

The downturn accelerated with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in 2004. The credibility of the armed forces fell even further in the eyes of reporters when it was disclosed that military contractors in Baghdad had paid Iraqi reporters for stories in the local news media.

And exactly who gives a rats patootie what the reporters think — and isn’t that mutually exclusive? Reporters and thinking??

In return, the military’s familiar complaints resumed: There is no coverage of the good news from Iraq, officers said. The focus is on violence and daily casualty counts, and not progress. Reporters cannot or will not get out and about in Iraq to tell the whole story. Editors and reporters are biased.

And those complaints are the Truth — and the Slimes can’t hide it, because the Truth has been told by many, many bloggers with boots on the ground. If it weren’t for them, I have no doubt that the Enemedia would have had a much easier time turning this WOT into another Vietnam.

“The death knell of your ethics has been enabled by your parent organizations who have chosen to align themselves with political agendas,” General Sanchez said in comments that earned far less coverage than his equally harsh statement that the Bush administration had mismanaged the war.

“What is clear to me,” General Sanchez told a media group, Military Reporters and Editors, “is that you are perpetuating the corrosive partisan politics that is destroying our country and killing our service members who are at war.”

Well gee — wonder why that statement got less coverage? Is the Slimes actually condemning themselves for that? That the New York Slimes is covering the coverage on the Iraq war and ends up patting themselves on the back while using the words of others to excuse themselves for not being more accurate is just rich.

“In general, I thought the majority coverage was very accurate and fair,” said Colonel Bleichwehl, who has served twice in Iraq. “There were not always enough reporters there full-time to provide the complete story of what was going on in a city with seven million people, much less the rest of the country.”