Stars and Stripes reports that the Pentagon has terminated its contract with the outside firm that was putting together files of journalists seeking to cover the war in Afghanistan and vetting their stories as positive, negative or neutral. However, Jason Motlagh happened to see his own “profile,” and has this account in TIME.com:
I recently applied to embed with U.S. Special Forces to cover a new initiative to raise and train civilian militias in Taliban strongholds. After waiting for more than a month for a response, I was accidentally copied on an e-mail sent by the public affairs department to the presiding officer who would give or deny approval. A color-coded pie chart showed that 47% of my stories were deemed “negative,” 47% “neutral” and 6% “positive.” In a section titled “Key Takeaway Points,” it was mentioned that my stories have been lengthy, with plenty of context and sources. It was added, however, that, “most notably, he tends to quote experts” from a British think tank “which has been critical of the coalition mission and the Afghan government.” A day after the e-mail — which included the Rendon analysis — was sent to the officer, my application was rejected without explanation.