Army Surgeon General Kevin Kiley, who described the Washington Post’s investigation of Walter Reed as “yellow journalism at its worst,” was replaced yesterday by his deputy Maj. Gen. Gale S. Pollock. As the Post reports today, Pollack seems to be cut from the same cloth:
Pollock, in an e-mail sent to colleagues and staff in the Army Medical Command on Friday, had also sought to minimize reports about conditions at Walter Reed and attacked the media’s handling of the issue.
“I know everyone is extremely pained and angry about the media assaults on Walter Reed and our senior leaders,” Pollock wrote in an e-mail obtained by The Washington Post. She added that she “articulated our displeasure at the misinformation about the quality of care” to a Post reporter after a congressional hearing last week but also acknowledged that she believes the stories could create momentum for changes that would better serve the Army.
She also wrote: “I know that your families and loved ones are affected by this event as well — please reassure them that the media makes money on negative stories not by articulating the positive in life — though that is something I will never understand.”
A spokeswoman for Pollock told the Post that her message was merely “intended to lift the spirits and reinforce confidence in her colleagues and her staff.” In any case, she won’t be serving long. An advisory board will soon recommend a new surgeon general, who must be approved by President Bush and confirmed by the Senate.