Is The Washington Post playing favorites with causes that inspire people to exercise their First Amendment rights and take to the streets to protest? When it comes to opposition to Democratic efforts to reform health care versus opposition to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it appears so.
In a March 20 Washington Post story headlined "Obama delivers plea to 'help us fix this system,'" Ben Pershing, Paul Kane and Lori Montgomery suggested House Democrats were gaining momentum in their pursuit of the 216 votes needed to pass health care reform legislation, despite "hundreds" of "tea party" protesters rallying outside the U.S. Capitol. (h/t Amanda Carpenter)
"Outside the Capitol, hundreds of 'tea party' protesters rallied against the legislation, jeering Democratic lawmakers as they passed and holding signs reading 'We'll Remember in November' and 'Revolution,' Pershing, Kane and Montgomery wrote.
A similar FoxNews.com story credits the protests with "thousands of tea partiers."
"Thousands of Tea Partiers descended upon the Capitol in an effort to derail the march toward ‘Obamacare' by pressuring undecided lawmakers to vote ‘no' Sunday," the Fox News story said.
But compare that to another rally held a few blocks away at the White House posted on The Washington Post Web site as well. The story from the Associated Press, written by Matthew Barakat on March 20, credited an anti-Iraq and Afghanistan war protests with "thousands of protesters."
"Thousands of protesters - many directing their anger squarely at President Barack Obama - marched through the nation's capital Saturday to urge immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan," Barakat wrote.
The Washington Post has a history of showcasing protests that support liberal causes, once giving a "hard-left" protest that drew 176 people with front-page coverage back in October 2009. But similarly, in covering Sept. 12, 2009 9-12 event, the Post gave it front-page coverage. However, it insisted on "playing up the fringe elements, 'right-wing nutballs' and 'freaks'" as NewsBusters' Tim Graham had pointed out.