Pentagon Declares War on Bad News logo"Soldiers at Walter Reed Army Medical Center's Medical Hold Unit say they have been told they will wake up at 6 a.m. every morning and have their rooms ready for inspection at 7 a.m., and that they must not speak to the media," reports Kelly Kennedy. "It is unusual for soldiers to have daily inspections after Basic Training." An officer told the troops that "they must follow their chain of command when asking for help with their medical evaluation paperwork, or when they spot mold, mice or other problems in their quarters." One Walter Reed staffer said some soldiers saw the changes as "a form of punishment" for talking to reporters. The Washington Post ran an exposé on the poor conditions in Walter Reed's Building 18. But "the Pentagon also clamped down on media coverage of any and all Defense Department medical facilities ... saying in an e-mail to spokespeople: 'It will be in most cases not appropriate to engage the media while this review takes place,' referring to an investigation of the problems at Walter Reed." The president of Military Reporters and Editors told Editor & Publisher that the problem is bigger still: "It is becoming a policy in some areas where they are not allowing reporters on the base unless it is an absolutely positively good news story."