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Spend any time here at all and you'll notice a few things about our coverage of the media:
1. When media reports on the War on Terror are demonstrably biased, bogus, or unbalanced to the point of violating any reasonable definition of neutrality I'll point them out, state my case, and support with as many links and facts as I can.
2. In the Dawn Patrol we present a list of links to stories on the war from traditional (or "legacy" if you prefer) media and non-traditional (or "modern") media sources. We offer no editorial comment on any of those stories - and they are selected only on the basis of being the latest news on the subject. If there's a noticeable contrast in coverage from those "traditional" and modern sources (often folks actually on the front lines) we think our readers are sharp enough to notice and draw their own conclusions.
3. When I see an example of a praise-worthy stance made by a traditional media source I'll also note that. (Read on, however, and you'll find why I won't be so quick to do so again).
4. When I'm proven wrong, I'll acknowledge and correct as soon as possible. This is one of those cases.
Just a few days I noted what I thought was a bit of backbone on display from the Washington Post. In spite of complaints from "peace activists" the Post would seemingly stand their ground and sponsor the Freedom Walk - an event commemorating 9/11, a day on which the Pentagon (a large, 5-sided building generally considered to be part of "Washington") was hit by a hijacked plane.
From the Freedom Walk site:
Q1: What is the America Supports You Freedom Walk?Back to the Washington Post story:
A1: The America Supports You ?FREEDOM WALK? is an event on September 11 that allows citizens the opportunity to remember the victims of September 11, honor our American servicemen and women past and present, and commemorate our freedom.
The America Supports You ?FREEDOM WALK? is a walk of remembrance and support. Remembrance of the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Pentagon and the Twin Towers, and support of the many American men and women in uniform past and present who protect the freedom the walk is commemorating.
Q2: When is the ASY Freedom Walk being held?
A2: The Freedom Walk is being held on September 11, 2005, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Pentagon South parking lot and is free and open to anyone who registers.
Q3: What is the ASY Freedom Walk route?
A3: The America Supports You Freedom Walk is a two-mile walk that will begin near the Pentagon crash site, proceed over the Memorial Bridge, pass several National memorials, and conclude adjacent to the National Mall and Reflecting Pool. For more information, visit www.AmericaSupportsYou.com and click on the Freedom Walk icon.
Q4: What other events are associated with the ASY Freedom Walk?
A4: Prior to the FREEDOM WALK the Pentagon will be holding a private ceremony for the families of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon. Immediately following the FREEDOM WALK, country superstar singer and songwriter Clint Black will hold a concert on the Pentagon Mall.
"The Pentagon has done some kind of event on 9/11 ever since it happened because we came under attack," said Allison Barber, deputy assistant secretary of defense for communications. "It's to commemorate the victims of 9/11. It's to honor our veterans past and present."But as the Post's headline above that story noted: Antiwar Activists Decry Media's Role in Promoting Pentagon Event.
And here's the first decryer they quoted:
"No common person will see this as not taking sides in this war," said Adam Eidinger, a promoter of the antiwar concert being called Operation Ceasefire. "This is clearly support for the war because it's being organized by the U.S. military."Those who are interested can read more about Adam at his homepage.
One of his passions is baseball. You can read his own words on that topic at Indymedia, where he describes his reception at a recent event celebrating the arrival of the Washington Nationals in the DC area:
What I Tried to Say to Major League Baseball
by Adam Eidinger
I was thrown out of Major League Baseball's naming of DC new baseball team today for just trying to speak (from the podium ;-) )
The $614 million give away to baseball billionaires must be stopped. There are better spending priorities like education, housing and healthcare. So when I saw a bunch of fat cats from Major League Baseball at Union Station today pat each other on the back as they do their heist of DC taxes I decided to take action and tell them what 70% of DC citizens want - No Taxes for Baseball.
Eidinger was dragged off the stage by 76-year old Charlie Brotman, as the Washington Post reported here.
"I'm a lover, not a fighter," said the 76-year-old Brotman, adding that he tried at first to "tenderly" remove Eidinger, 31, from the podium.
"He jerked his arm away and continued his remarks," PR man Brotman, former announcer for the Washington Senators, told us. "So I grabbed his elbow a little harder and said, 'You're going to have to leave so we can get our news conference going.' The third time I used both hands on his elbows and arms and started to pull him away, and that's when he started pulling very hard -- and I pulled back very hard. . . . I didn't realize how big this guy was. I'm 5-6 1/2."
Some people have the brass to stand up to publicity-seeking buffoons. Not so the Washington Post.
The Washington Post announced yesterday that it will back out of a controversial co-sponsorship of a Pentagon-organized event next month to remember the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and support the troops in Iraq.The ellipses in the final paragraph above were in the original.
The Post's corporate officials emphasized that distinction after its involvement was the subject of a Post story Friday. But The Post's participation was criticized by members of the antiwar movement and by journalists in the paper's own newsroom who posted messages on an internal electronic discussion board. These critics said the co-sponsorship could hurt the paper's credibility in covering the war and antiwar demonstrations.
"Post news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias," said a resolution passed earlier yesterday by the leadership of The Post unit of the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild. "The Washington Post itself should be held to the same high standard. . . . The Guild supports The Post's stated intention of honoring the nation's veterans, including those who have served in Iraq. But the Post undermines this goal by lending its support to a political event that links the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to the war in Iraq -- a link that The Post, in its reporting, has shown to be false."
"Post news employees are subject to disciplinary action for participating in political activities that may be perceived as revelatory of personal opinions or bias. The Washington Post itself should be held to the same high standard. Moreover, arguments that the Freedom Walk is anything other than a political activity -- and indeed, a political activity in support of the war in Iraq -- should be put to rest by the prominent participation of country music star Clint Black, best known of late for his war-glorifying song 'Iraq and I Roll.'The Post doesn't even have the brass to acknowledge their writers attitudes towards Clint Black have played a rather bizarrely large role in this entire affair - which, if you haven't noticed by now, is ridiculous and pathetic to the point of utter absurdity.
Another quote from a "Peace Activist" - this one in the Post's capitulation story:
Peace activist Bill Dobbs yesterday welcomed the Post's change of heart.Note the ellipses before "people". We have no idea what was edited out of that quote.
"The reason why this was the right thing to do is that the press needs to have an arm's-length relationship with the government to hold them accountable," said Dobbs, a spokesman for United for Peace and Justice, a national coalition participating in three days of antiwar activities -- also including a concert and march -- scheduled to begin Sept. 24. "This is a victory for . . . people who cherish The Post's reputation."
But at this point in time, we strongly urge you to visit fellow MilBlogger Neptunus Lex, who picks up the story from here. It's not just baseball and America these guys are opposed too. Mom's Apple Pie is probably equally outrageous to them.
Oh, by the way, Kudos to the Post for refusing to stop covering the Nationals.
The Washington Post editorial board - which include the publisher - endorses political candidates and referenda every election year.
To somehow state now that it would be improper for the paper to implicitly give support for a political cause by contributing to this commemmoration is puzzling.
Were these reporters and "peace" activists upset when the Post endorsed Kerry for president this past election? I guess they missed that edition.
SMGPosted by SteveMG at August 17, 2005 09:10 PM
It's Pat! in the pic abovePosted by cris at August 17, 2005 09:24 PM
Is that a pic of Pat from SNL?Posted by Mrs Greyhawk at August 17, 2005 09:28 PM
Wow that was simultaneous, great minds think alike.Posted by Mrs Greyhawk at August 17, 2005 09:30 PM
As I noted at the time, at least one Post columnist (Marc Fisher) had an allergic reaction to only using country music in the event ("polarizing.. bizarre") never mind Clint Black. As for backing out of the Freedom Walk, one wonders if Michael Barone is onto something in sensing a (further?) "leftward tilt" under the Post's new managing editor, Phil Bennett, who told the Chinese media: "For me, this episode [the administration's claims that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq] is a good example of how difficult it is to independently verify the government's claims when the government is lying to you."Posted by Christopher Fotos at August 17, 2005 09:32 PM
For the record - this was the final straw for me. I wrote a scathing e-mail to the Post's public relations guru and told him I was canceling my subscription over the endless negativity towards the war, the military and the Bush administration and because they caved into liberal naysayers within their newsroom as well as the anti-war folks without. They tried to claim that this march had something to do with Iraq, despite that fact that, as is pointed out here there is NO MENTION of Iraq in the literature on this march. To his credit he called me back and left a message trying to say that they did support the war etc, and that he hoped I would maintain my subscrition. I wrote back tonight and along with more explanation told him that the only way I would subscribe again is when I saw his paper to some real investigative reporting on the anti-war movement in this country to include their real goals, their funding, background investigating on their leaders, connections to the Vietnam anti-war movement, analysis of the false charges being bandied about by some "Veterans for Peace" folks and hard questions for those who are now engaging in anti-recruiting actions. We'll see how he responds.
I'll be marching on September 11th here in D.C. and the Post won' t get another penny from me.
DebbieKPosted by DebbieK at August 18, 2005 04:43 AM
"participating in political activities"?
I'd like to see the Post, and the rest of the media-political-complex end its symbiotic relationship with the so-called 'anti-war' movement, cease its pandering and flacking for the Left, and stop its breathless, flood-the-zone coverage of anything that would further its plainly visible political agenda.
They're up to their necks in political activity, in plain view. They're either dissembling or oblivious, and I don't know which is more dangerous.Posted by Vinny Vidivici at August 18, 2005 01:07 PM Hide Comments | Show/Add Comments in Popup Window(7) | (Note: You must refresh main page to view newly posted comments here)