Major Media Sanitize Extreme Views From Antiwar Protest Coverage

The mainstream media’s coverage of the antiwar march in Washington, DC did its best to ignore the extreme Left views that were on display at the protest. A split-second image at the very beginning of Saturday evening’s NBC Nightly News showed some of the extreme views that were on display on signs, which included a call for the impeachment of President Bush for "war crimes," and a sign that cried "9/11 Truth Now!" The full NBC Nightly News report on the march devoted almost a minute to footage of the antiwar marchers, and only 15 seconds to comments from one of the pro-Iraq war counter-protesters who lined the march route. Anyone who tuned in would have to look carefully for any sign of radical views.

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Both the New York Times and the Washington Post covered the march in their Sunday editions. However, they ignored some of the radical statements that were made from the stage at the antiwar rally before the march. The photos that accompanied both the print edition and online versions of the articles also glossed over the extreme views that were expressed on signs and banners at the march.

In a report made by Michael Lipin of the Voice of America (which also includes mp3 audio of the quotes from the rally), former attorney general Ramsey Clark, who was pro-Saddam enough to serve as his defense lawyer in Baghdad, was quoted as saying, "Nothing is going to stop this machine except the impeachment of George Bush and his gang... when you remove him for high crimes, then you know the next president will pay attention." Neither the Times nor the Post mentioned Clark’s work for Saddam in their articles.

Cindy Sheehan, who had "retired" from the antiwar movement only a few months ago, also addressed the crowd. "If we don't want to become like Nazi Germany, and you know, these people want us to become like Nazi Germany, it's time for us to stand up and lay down, and it's time for us to do civil disobedience on a massive scale."

The national edition of the Sunday New York Times only included one photograph of a antiwar protester being arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police with its article. The Sunday Washington Post had several photographs of both pro and anti-Iraq war protesters. But both papers chose to ignore extreme viewpoints, such as "9/11 Was An Inside Job," that were expressed at the anti-war march. (For a photo essay which compares the pro and anti-Iraq war protests, go to Michelle Malkin’s blog).

Marc Fisher of the Washington Post began a commentary on the competing protests by making an odd statement. "I hope you enjoy today's biased coverage of this weekend's Iraq war demonstrations." If you thought that was an admission of bias on the part of the Washington Post, think again. Fisher was actually lamenting the fact that all the media attention is on the outdoor demonstrations, and not on the raging war-of-words over the Iraq war that is being waged online.

Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan was a news analyst at Media Research Center