WASHINGTON -- Acting quickly on recommendations from a ground-breaking report that the top leadership of the U.S. military is too white, too male, and does not accurately reflect the diversity of America, the Obama administration today announced the appointment of actress Michelle Rodriguez as the new Chairwoman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"This is a profoundly important issue," said White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. "And quite frankly, after the whole Middle East thing, it's nice to get out in front of something for a change."
As with repeal of the controversial "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" law, the move has provoked rare criticism of civilian authority by uniformed members of the military. "Ms. Rodriguez is a brilliant young actress," said Gen. David Petraeus. "However, a three-week actor's boot camp hardly prepares someone to lead the finest fighting force this world has ever known." (UPDATE: See related article, "MoveOn.Org: David Petraeus, Two Thumbs Down!")
Experienced observers from outside the senior officer corps, however, disagree. "I applaud this visionary appointment," said Dirk DeSoto, executive director for Hollywood Veterans of Imaginary Conflicts. "For too long, America has mistakenly prepared to fight the last war. And as Michelle Rodriguez knows from Battle: Los Angeles, the next war won't be against rogue states or radical jihadists. It will be against alien invaders from beyond the stars. Or giant robots. But hopefully just aliens. Because of it's giant robots, we're screwed."
According to an anonymous White House source close to the decision-making process, the Rodriguez appointment was not without internal controversy as well. "Foxy Brown was a seminal film for the Obamas," the source revealed, "and the First Lady made a strong case for the positive message Pam Grier would send to the African-American tween community."
Others reportedly considered include Milla Jovovich, Scarlett Johansson, Jackie Chan, and Summer Glau.
Even with White House backing, however, Rodriguez faces an uphill battle for confirmation in the Senate. Appearing on Fox News, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) declared, "The American people know how much I love feisty women with big guns, but this appointment is nothing more than a cynical attempt by the Obama administration to recapture the Hispanic vote in 2012."
McCain's comments prompted Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to counter, "Re-capture? What Hispanic in his right mind has ever voted Republican?"
Responding to these and other issues surrounding the appointment, new Defense Department spokesperson Chris Farley commented, "Remember when Michelle flew that helicopter thing in Avatar? That was awesome."
Current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Adm. Michael Mullen was unavailable for comment.