Editor and Publisher has noted that that is exactly what Rumsfeld said during an "interview" on Rush Limbaugh's talk radio show. From the E&P story:
For one thing, Rumsfeld said it was important to "recognize that the terrorists, Zarqawi and bin Laden and Zawahiri, those people have media committees. They are actively out there trying to manipulate the press in the United States. They are very good at it. They're much better at (laughing) managing those kinds of things than we are."//snip//
LIMBAUGH: Let me amend it. Let me ask you one final question. Somebody on my staff is curious to know what your opinion is of embedding reporters with the military. Has that worked? Has that worked as you had hoped?The reaction of the reporters simply couldn't have anything to do with the feeling that they are not getting the "real" story when they are only going around with heavily armed troops or stuck in the green zone.
SECRETARY RUMSFELD: Well, it has. It worked during the Iraq conflict, and a lot of people who are reporters and journalists were able to work with our troops and see precisely how terrific they are, the wonderful job they do, the kinds of people they are, how professional they are -- and the rest of their lives they're going to have an impression of the American military that will be good for journalism, in my view. Furthermore, they were able, because they were embedded, to see and then give the world and the people of the United States a slice of what was actually happening, real reality, and it was a good thing. More recently, very few people had been being embedded. We're still offering that opportunity, but there have been far fewer journalists who have stepped up to become embedded.
LIMBAUGH: Why do you think that is?
SECRETARY RUMSFELD: Well, it's a funny thing. I asked one reporter about that, and there was kind of the impression left that, "Well, if you got embedded then you were really part of the problem instead of part of the solution and you were almost going over to the other side," argument. I think that's an inexcusable thought, and I don't know if that's the case.
LIMBAUGH: That's outrageous.
SECRETARY RUMSFELD: It is. (Laughing.)
RUSH: I can't believe that.
SECRETARY RUMSFELD: (Laughing.)
And, of course, Rush is not going to ask any questions that are off-script. I wonder what it feels like to know that you are a pet kept on the lease by your masters the way Limbaugh is -- so tame that Rumsfeld and Cheney can feel secure that only the approved questions will be asked during the "candid interviews."
Enjoy the access, now, Rush -- you won't have the entree into the famous and influential forever, and then it will be back to pandering only to the ditto-heads.