DoD to Deployed Sports Fans: DROP DEAD
The Armed Forces Network has cut off access to American pro sports programming until further notice, due to the current government shutdown. The announcement comes just as the Major League Baseball playoffs are getting underway.
Meanwhile, the same DoD that funds the Armed Forces Network found the funds to keep the golf course open at Andrews Air Force Base – the same golf course frequented by President Obama, members of Congress, and senior officers at the nearby Pentagon.
The Armed Forces Network has therefore reduced itself to strictly airing “news” stories and public service announcements reminding servicemembers to wear condoms and report waste, fraud and abuse.
The announcement affects not just baseball, but all major sports programming.
A spokesperson for the Armed Services Network told the Stars & Stripes that they are unable to continue providing sports coverage because of federal workers who have been furloughed.
We’re calling foul.
It requires far less manpower to flip a switch to allow a satellite feed through a control station and leave it on than it does to operate a news service. I say this as someone who has actually run four separate TV channels simultaneously in a control booth providing live feeds with the technology of 20 years ago.
There is the matter of broadcast rights. It would surprise us if Major League Baseball was not willing to make a deal to make the playoffs and World Series available to our troops in Afghanistan. If that were really the issue, we would expect that the AFN spokesperson would have referred to it already.
Some REMFs may argue that servicemembers can watch the games via the Internet, or through civilian satellite networks. Those individuals probably have not been deployed to austere locations.
We have the Early Bird news, now. We have Internet news sources. We have a chain of command and an NCO support channel to disseminate mission-critical information. None of them can bring the World Series to our sports fans deployed.
Cut the BS. Stop the lies.
Air the games.