Washingtonians opened their top newspaper on Sunday, January 19 to see what could have been predicted down to the letter. "Thousands Oppose a Rush to War," the headline announced, resting under a large color picture of a sea of protesters. Not one, not two, but three articles on the front page cast doubt on the Bush preparations for war on Iraq. Inside, the anti-Bush rally was awarded two entire pages of articles and pictures, and then, as if that weren't enough, the Post tacked on another half a page for the protests in San Francisco.
"Chill Doesn't Cool Fury Over U.S. Stand on Iraq," said another headline, and that's the closest the Post came to describing the furious tone of remarks from the D.C. rally podium. Many speakers lacerated the president and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, but these sulfurous comments never made the Post. Like? The leader of the rally organizers, leftist crank Ramsey Clark, called for Bush to be impeached. Another speaker called the Bush team "greedy imperialist murderers."
Reporters were most impressed with the protest turnout, especially since temperatures stayed below freezing all day. Yet the Post (and so many other national media outlets) has never outpoured warm feelings at the top of the news when tens of thousands of pro-lifers brave freezing January temperatures year after year to make a solemn statement on behalf of the unborn children so casually killed over the last 30 years.
Even putting two major Washington marches five days apart couldn't scare the liberal media into avoiding the trap of plugging away for the anti-Bush rally while ignoring the pro-life event. The March for Life crowd never makes the news the way anarchist and communist hooligans like the "anti-globalization" activists did in Seattle a few years ago. March for Life speakers are often soft-spoken and prayerful, talking about faith and family and mourning for the millions lost. Maybe they should break windows and invite tear gas attacks. Is that what must be done to earn the interest of The Washington Post?
Every year it's the same. Except for a modicum of attention to President Bush phoned-in remarks, last year's March for Life typically got lost in the media shuffle. Despite the depth and breadth of the crowd, only six TV cameras were there, less than half of what a pro-abortion Congressman can get standing alone on Capitol Hill on an average day. Washington journalists were spending their time and wattage that day on tender concern for the human rights not of the unborn...but of suspected al-Qaeda terrorists being held at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. They know the truly defenseless when they see them. CNN anchor Judy Woodruff buried the day's activities into this afternoon summation: "Anti-abortion activists held a rally earlier today on Capitol Hill. Later, abortion rights supporters plan to hold a vigil at the Supreme Court." It did not matter than one side had amassed a throng of 100,000, while the other had trouble assembling 100. It did not matter while the pro-life speakers made no spiteful remarks attacking feminists, NOW staffers yelled vile falsehoods into a bullhorn, including "Pray by day! Bomb by night! That's the motto of pro-life!" and "Pro-life, your name's a lie! You don't care if women die!" To CNN, they were just two sides of an old coin, but only one side gets every benefit of the doubt. Washington Post reporters and other supine anti-war publicists claim that the large rallies organized by the (unlabeled) Trotskyite kook group International ANSWER demonstrate a broad public sentiment against President Bush's war plans. So why won't they make this case for the pro-lifers?
Let's look at the last poll that really counted, the November elections. Which Republicans or Democrats suffered for supporting the President's resolve to disarm Iraq? The hardened "anti-war" Bush-haters were exactly the same types who turned the Wellstone memorial service into a partisan freak show...and look at what happened to them. Then look at how the pro-lifers scored. In general, voters handed all the elected branches of government back to the pro-life party. Specifically, NARAL targeted six Senate races (Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, and New Hampshire) and lost them all except Iowa, where the GOP ran thin-gruel moderate Greg Ganske.
So which set of marchers represents a substantial slice of public opinion, and which is the lunatic fringe? The liberal media are getting it backwards, presenting the mainstream as the fringe and the fringe as the mainstream. So the anti-war protesters get all the sympathetic air time, while the mainstream pro-life movement solemnly prays away like a solitary tree that fell in the woods, ignored.