Stars and Stripes must continue to publish

Some in the military brass may have applauded news a few weeks ago that Stars and Stripes, the newspaper circulated worldwide to members of the U.S. armed forces, was being closed.

Stars and Stripes, which actually began publication during the Civil War, did not hit its stride until the 20th century. Part of its popularity was because many in the ranks saw it as their newspaper, which occasionally took shots at “the brass.”

Last month, word began spreading that Stars and Stripes would be shut down. Though the publication operates semi-independently of the Pentagon, it relies on federal funding.

News of the plan to kill Stars and Stripes resulted in a storm of outrage. Even President Donald Trump, on whose doorstep some tried to lay blame for the closure, joined in. Last week, he tweeted that the paper would “continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!”

Then, word came that the Defense Department had rescinded its order that Stars and Stripes be shut down.

Especially annoying is the Pentagon’s excuse for attempting to kill the paper. Its chosen method was to cut the $15.5 million in annual federal funding for Stars and Stripes. Economizing, you know.

Many in the military and those who have served have colorful terms for such claims. We’ll settle for baloney.

Fifteen and a half million dollars is chicken feed in Washington. Saving money had nothing to do with why someone attempted to shut down Stars and Stripes.

Good for the Pentagon’s public relations experts for recognizing a disaster in the making. Rest assure PR, not some general’s or admiral’s desire to keep serving those in the ranks, gets credit for the decision being reversed.

Let us hope it never, ever resurfaces.


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