Washington Whispers: Gates Urged to Bring Pundit Briefings Back

A controversy over a barely controversial issue may have landed the Defense Secretary in hot water.

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A controversy over a barely controversial issue—Pentagon briefings for military TV pundits—may have landed Defense Secretary Robert Gates in hot water. Word on Capitol Hill is that GOP leadership officials are going to ask that he reinstate the briefings ended after the New York Times blew the whistle on them. Many of the pundits have defended the briefings, adding that they were not encouraged to tell the Pentagon's story about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And even NBC's Brian Williams has blogged that he never felt that pundits he befriended for his newscast drank the Kool-Aid. Conservatives say they will press Gates on the issue, concerned that he ended a good briefing program just because of some New York Times criticism.