Another classic contrast in media bias is emerging with Saturday’s "anti-war" march on Washington, just six days after the annual March for Life. Already, the Washington Post is showing more love in column inches for the left-wing protest. The Post had no article previewing the pro-life march, but on the front page of Thursday’s Post, in a box promoting its "Faces of the Fallen" pages of the war dead, a promotional blurb:
Actors, Other Activists Plan Mall War Protest
Jane Fonda and Susan Sarandon are expected for Saturday’s anti-war rally and March Metro
The article was inside the Metro section, on page B-6. Reporter Michael Ruane’s story was headlined "Large Rally Planned Saturday on Mall: Organizes Oppose Increase in Troops and Plan to Seek Withdrawal Deadline." That’s a little bland for the hard left, especially when UFPJ’s attitude toward the troops is advertised with their website headline "‘We Have A Haditha Every Day’ -- TAKE ACTION!"
But Ruane and the Post never even use the word "liberal" to describe anyone in the story. Jane Fonda is an "actress, author, and peace activist." Jesse Jackson is a "civil rights activist." UFPJ simply "describes itself as a coalition of 1,400 local and national organizations," and apparently none of them are left-wing. The story had photos of Fonda, Danny Glover, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon listed in a caption as "Among the activists expected."
(The Post team might defend themselves on the lack of labeling by saying the Associated Press preview also uses no liberal labels, and Stephen Hess of the liberal Brookings Institution is used to explain this new protest will have a "much more middle-class" feel than the Vietnam-era marches.)
To complete the "anti-war" fervor in Thursday’s Post, the Style section carried an article on a peacenik quilter named Annemarie Zwack. Arts beat reporter Rachel Beckman explained the quilts of protest:
A two-panel quilt called "Standard of Us" depicts tanks rolling over dead bodies and naked prisoners with nooses around their necks. In the quilt "Witness," two wide-eyed figures stand in front of the burning remains of an Iraqi city.
Not the most cuddly subject matter.
"I like the contrast of working in a soft medium to talk about war and bloodshed and things that aren't soft," she says. "In some ways, I think it makes it more accessible."
Zwack says the quilts to "convey a sense of mourning for the destruction of the land and the people." But she's not a leftist, she's merely a "socially conscious" person:
Zwack comes from a socially conscious family. Her sister is a union-side labor lawyer in Washington. Her parents, a former priest and a nun, worked as missionaries in east Africa.
Zwack and Keeler practice what they call "intentional living." They try to grow their own food, or at least know the farmers who grew it. In 2001, Zwack ran for the Ithaca Common Council as a Green Party candidate (she lost, but got 41 percent of the vote).
In a different era, they would have been called hippies. Zwack has also made quilts of left-leaning heroes Michael Moore, the filmmaker, and Julia "Butterfly" Hill, the woman who lived in a redwood tree for two years to save it from loggers.
Michael Moore, left-"leaning"? Beckman really knows how to craft an understatement. But you have to wonder: if liberals are "socially conscious," does that make conservatives "socially unconscious"? Anyway, while the Post showed one flag-resembling quilt in photos on the front of Style and inside, Beckman failed to note the flag quilt's meaning from Zwack's own press release:
The most boldly graphic piece in the series is entitled “Flag”. Similar in format to the US flag, the horizontal stripes are a crumpled and dirty off-white and desert camouflage gold. Instead of stars on a blue field, the raw canvas silhouette of soldiers march on. “American militarization has sullied our national image and identity,” says Zwack.