With more than 7,000 retired generals and admirals in the country, the furor over the criticisms by six aimed at Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is more than a little strange.
These men, all of whom are owed thanks and respect for their years of service, absolutely have the right to speak and to be heard-but the amplification of their comments by the mainstream media is troubling.
When "insiders" have quit MSM-CBS's Bernard Goldberg comes to mind-MSM did not offer him or similar retirees the open stage for their critiques of the left-wing press bias. They had a reasonable explanation for such disregard: Disgruntled ex-employees often say bad things about their former bosses.
When the ex-employees are shooting at a favorite target, though, all MSM caution goes out the door in the rush to build a bigger platform for the critics-even though Mr. Rumsfeld has on his side the weight of authority and experience from within the Pentagon.
Among those defending Mr. Rumsfeld are retired General Tommy Franks, his No. 2 General Michael DeLong, the current and immediate past chairmen of the Joint Chiefs, as well as scores of other retired brass.
But that relative comparison between critics and supporters has been obscured-purposefully so-by an MSM eager to take down Mr. Rumsfeld as part of its never-ending campaign against President Bush. Too bad the MSM elites don't give even half as much air time to their own critics.