There's whitewash and greenwash and there's also Raptorwash.
So the media is trumpeting a major victory for the White House because the Senate voted, under threat of a veto, to "only" build 187 more F-22 Raptors instead of 194. Then, there's also the big deal being made about the supposedly huge $1.7 billion dollars savings without bothering to mention that's only "a third of a percentage point of the overall 2010 defense request," as the grief-stricken WSJ reports. And then, before anyone starts to celebrate, also keep in mind that the House -- all those members blindly eyeing aerospace jobs, and contribution -- voted for the full allotment so it remains to be seen how many Raptors actually disappear.
Meanwhile, what's just as impressive to me is how, rain or shine, the media reflexively caters to the defense industry's visual propaganda about the "rejection" of this deficient and dangerous lemon-of-a-weapon system in story after story with the most sexy, sexy, sexy, sexy, sexy, sexy pictures of this phallic piece of hardware.
...Now, on the other hand, if the media (not that the military had anything to do with it) had gotten any closer and better a view of the last time one of these wrecks went down (the shot above being typical, as well as one of the few I could find of the episode outside Edwards Air Force Base in March), perhaps our Representatives would be maybe another fraction of a percent tighter or so with our billions.
(image: AP. caption: An emergency operations team prepares to move into an area where an Air Force F-22 fighter jet, on a test fight from nearby Edwards Air Force Base, crashed in the Mojave Desert about 25 miles west of Barstow, Calif. , Wednesday, March 25, 2009. )
Follow Michael Shaw on Twitter: www.twitter.com/bagnewsnotes