CNN, MSNBC Screen Out the "Socialist Worker" Credentials of Guests

Romenesko has highlighted for journalists across the country today a Washington City Paper article pounding for more attention to be paid to an article on Socialist Worker online. Contributors Lorrie Beth Slonsky and Larry Bradshaw were in New Orleans during the hurricane and its aftermath, and claim that police in Gretna, Louisiana, would not let them cross the bridge, and even fired weapons at the evacuees. The details of this story have appeared in some media outlets, but one thing is for sure: the cable networks aren't interested in providing the Socialist Worker credentials of Slonsky and Bradshaw.

On MSNBC's Hardball Monday, Chris Matthews interviewed the duo, clearly wearing yellow peace buttons on their black shirts, but in no way mentioned their hard-left, crush-capitalism backgrounds. (The website explains Socialist Worker believes "Only mass struggles of the workers themselves can destroy the capitalist system of oppression and exploitation.") On-screen graphics read only "San Francisco paramedic" and "Trapped in New Orleans." Matthews let the duo talk without almost any questioning, until the end, when he wanted to underline that this could be a racist incident, right?

On CNN's NewsNight Monday, Anderson Cooper interviewed Slonsky and Bradshaw (as well as the local sheriff, Arthur Lawson), but he also offered no background for the pair except for telling the sheriff one was a paramedic. The online story also deleted the pair's revolutionary ideology. UPDATE: The New York Times story by Gardiner Harris featuring Slonsky and Bradshaw (published September 10) does mention the Socialist Worker source in paragraph 13. San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson did not.

Hurricane Katrina CNN MSNBC Newsnight Hardball
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