Don't tell, don't tell: Military uploads videos to YouTube, then blocks the site

Dennis Baron debaron at UIUC.EDU
Mon May 14 22:15:53 UTC 2007

There's a new post on the Web of Language:

Don’t tell, don’t tell: Army puts PR videos on YouTube while blocking  
the site on its own military computers

In an attempt to rebuild the eroding image of America at home and  
abroad, the U.S. Army is commissioning videos portraying the positive  
side of the Iraq War to counter what military spokesperson Lt. Col.  
Christopher Garver called an endless stream of bad news stories  
showcasing “the carbomb of the day.”  The Army is putting this  
footage on YouTube, the popular video-sharing site that recently  
hosted Newt Gingrich’s made-for-TV apology for having insulted  
Spanish as the language of the ghetto.

So far the Army has uploaded 25 good-news clips showing American  
soldiers firing at snipers off camera, handing Iraqi children soccer  
balls, and rescuing Iraqis injured by the car bomb of the day.

Garver told the BBC that the Army’s new wave short subjects are part  
of the military’s effort to take the Iraq offensive into cyberspace,  
where the enemy has already staked out strategic positions and forced  
the U.S. to play catch up.  With over a million hits on YouTube, the  
army’s public relations effort seems to be reaching audiences.

But it won’t reach military audiences, because on May 11 the Army  
blocked YouTube from all military computers, along with other sites  
like MySpace and Photobucket.  ....

Interested?  Read the rest on

the Web of Language



Dennis Baron
Professor of English and Linguistics
Department of English
University of Illinois
608 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

office: 217-244-0568
fax: 217-333-4321

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