In the ongoing wild goose chase for the "conservative" major media, leftists are complaining that anti-war voices are being shut out. Liberal media outlets, always more sensitive to complaints from the left than from the right, have snapped out of their post 9-11 patriotic stupor and are back to giving the "peace" movement the spotlight.
Liberals complain about everything but I dare them to fault The Washington Post, which is getting more and more aggressive in promoting the "peace" movement now that the Democrats don't have to worry as much about the dangers of pacifism at the polls.
It all started with a "peace" rally in Washington on October 26, claiming 100,000 protesters, which received Page One treatment in the Post. (The annual March for Life regularly attracts that kind of crowd, but has trouble making the front page of the paper's Metro section.) Leftists pounded those retrograde right-wing media outfits, like the New York Times and National Public Radio, for failing to hype this event. But something strange happened on the way to the front page. No one bothered to look at what was really said at the podium.
The peace movement has become a convention of and for kooks. Former attorney general Ramsey Clark - yes, him again - compared the U. S. government to the Nazis: "Heinrich Himmler led the Gestapo. He said, 'Shoot first and ask questions afterward and I will protect you.' And that's what we plan to do with Iraq and other countries." If that wasn't loopy enough, kook-in-chief continued: "The government takes as much pride in destroying the Declaration of Independence as well as the Bill of Rights as in anything else it does. It wants to end the idea of individual freedom and to make people do what the government says, even if that means martial law."
Isn't any of this noteworthy?
And yet not a word of this appeared in the Post. This is not at all unusual. Liberal reporters routinely ignore the newsmakers at leftwing rallies - the rally's leaders - and instead select their soundbites from among the "mainstream protesters," as one ABC producer called them during the Gulf War. In this story, the Post found people like 22-year-old Larina Brown from the University of Minnesota at Morris, who was relieved by the large crowd, since "I really wanted this to be a big statement, to show it's not just radical, anti-American people who go to these things."
No, they just speak at these things but you'd never know it reading the Washington Post.
Since the rally, the "peace" movement has enjoyed a flurry of positive Post stories. On December 2, reporter Evelyn Nieves graced the top of Page One with a story claiming an "extraordinary array" of groups was somehow newsworthy in opposing the war. Nieves, who also sidelines for the radical magazine Mother Jones, claimed it was somehow "news" that the same old, tired left-wing assortment of unions, businessmen-pacifists, former veterans, and religious activists was actively protesting.
On December 10, the front page of the Style section touted "The Peace Warriors," with reporter David Montgomery delivering the regular kook-smoothing pitch: "But let's not define the movement only by its wild frontiers." The major organizer of the October rally of "100,000," International ANSWER, was in need of a scrubbing, so Montgomery wrote: "ANSWER is not a socialist organization, but key members of its brain trust happen to be active in the Workers World Party."
This is a little like saying that some old-time Southern men's group isn't racist, but its brain trust "happens to be active" in the KKK. The Workers World Party are Trotskyite communists of the most virulent sort. Their own Web site pledges "solidarity" with "workers" from Cuba to China struggling for socialism while Washington - the center of "world imperialism" - tries to stop them "in a global class struggle." What does "peace" or "protest" mean in these ossified communist regimes other than a life in prison or a bullet in the head?
In a nutshell, the Post is giving the left exactly what it wants: puffball pieces on the peaceniks with no real look at their basic ideology, no discussion of their America-hatred, no investigation into their funding sources. And is it admirable, or in the interests of peace, to rain rhetorical fire on the demonized United States while we're fighting a global war against terrorists and their state sponsors?
For an exploration of those points, you'll have to buy some other newspaper.