Yes, you heard it here first at the OMG News! The entire building just up and quit, leaving thousands of Federal workers without offices. Sources close to the venerable Alexandria structure report that this move was an unexpected protest over the government shutdown; apparently, the five-sided colossus “felt left out” and “really wanted to go to Florida this year”.
Come on, people. You wouldn’t believe this.
And yet, when major news outlets ranging from the BBC and the New York Times all the way down to crap factories like RT all tell you that the Pentagon Chief Of Staff resigned in protest, you believe it without a second thought.
News Flash: There is no such office as “Pentagon Chief Of Staff”.
What really happened isn’t actually all that newsworthy, by the way. Apparently, when General Mattis (Ret.) resigned in protest from his job as Secretary of Defense, his departure was rather more swift than expected, and he was replaced before his staff really knew what was happening. His former deputy, civilian Pat Shanahan, is now Acting SecDef, and of course he brought along his own people.
Kevin Sweeney (RAdm, Ret.) was the top aide to General Mattis, his Chief of Staff. Now, in a small organization, every functionary and typist reports to someone, who reports in turn to the Chief of Staff; the organizational chart looks rather like the roots of a small tree. The DoD, however, doesn’t work at all like that; there are thousands of Chiefs of Staff, and charting it would be an exercise in industrial papermaking combined with n-dimensional topography. Sweeney’s job, in short, was to manage the personal staff of the SecDef and direct the flow of information.
And, as I mentioned, Pat Shanahan moved his own staff into his new office, leaving Sweeney without much to do. Unlike most of the DoD functionaries, Sweeney had followed Mattis from one assignment to another for years. As a result, he was so closely tied with his departing boss that the new boss really didn’t want him around.
A realistic article title might be:
Former Mattis Aide Forced Out Over Office Politics
Instead, I’ve counted thirty different individual major media sources that reported the Top Boss of the Holy Sacred Pentagon Itself has resigned in a bitter fight with the president over matters of policy. Some of the more lurid, I could almost see blood spattering the walls of the Oval after the knockdown drag-out finale. And again, we’re not just talking HuffPost editorials or two-bit bloggers like me; one of these was the bloody BBC. The only major news outlet that got it more or less right was the Wall Street Journal, and even they screwed up the guy’s title.
On the one hand, given the sparse text of the official press release, that’s not all that surprising. Plus, his job is… well, not unimportant, not in the least, but let’s say ‘low profile’ enough that neither it nor he has a Wikipedia page. (Which, apparently, is all the investigating anyone in major media is doing these days.)
Normally, I end these rants advising you all to get your news from reliable sources and to stop depending on clickbait headlines to keep you informed. With this one, I’m at a real loss. Maybe… Think for yourselves?
…nah. Let’s be realistic.