With demise of Pentagon’s ‘Early Bird,’ military readers hunt bootleg copies of ‘Morning News’

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Col. Warren rejected this criticism, saying the same two employees who put together the Early Bird are selecting content for the Morning News.

For years, the Early Bird was a much-demanded and, some would say, populist morning publication that presented a wide array of journalism, favorable and critical, of the Pentagon and decision-makers.

As defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld wanted it on the back seat of his limo at sunrise.

Subscriptions for the EB came relatively easy. The hard-copy version, available in Pentagon corridors, gave way to a digital attachment that showed up in email baskets in Washington and around the world.

The EB went away Nov. 1, with some secrecy. Representatives at first told reporters it was suspended during the partial federal government shutdown. When it did not reappear, the Pentagon fessed up to its demise.

Col. Warren said some reporters have thanked him.

“My editor used to read the Early Bird and would force me to chase stories that I wasn’t interested in chasing,” he quotes reporters as saying. “Without the Early Bird, I have a little bit more freedom now to do what I want to do.

“I thought that was just absolutely fascinating,” he said.

Gannett’s Army Times has moved to fill the void by sending the Early Bird Brief to subscribers.

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