EDITORIAL October 2005:
forgot to report anti-war demonstration?
(Washington) Powers at the top of the
nation's fourth estate say they "forgot" to cover a massive anti-war protest
that took place in Washington on September 24.
Calling the absence of
coverage "an acute oversight", anti-war factions responded by suggesting that
the mainstream media refused to report the event because it was not in their
fiscal interest to do so.
The demonstration protesting ongoing U.S.
military policy in Iraq received a dusting at best in the corporate media here
in the land of the free. Despite an estimated outpouring, conservatively
estimated 200,000 souls, there was little or nothing reported by the
Associated Press, CNN, or the Denver Post. Even the Washington
Post and New York Times, often accused as being too liberal by the
neo-cons and their followers, buried what little write up there may have been
next to the crossword puzzle or the late baseball scores
framework, instead of featuring news coverage of the protests, these protectors
of the First Amendment preferred to tell us about the new U.S. $10 bill, pit
bull attacks in the Northeast, Bronco updates and a new reality TV program
"Extreme Makeover" with Laura Bush.
"That's what people want to read
about," said one CEO from the Chicago Tribune. "We determine what will
go in the paper by a system of priority, and by grasping this rigid methodology
it is easy for one to see how we might have skipped over this recent scene in
"What demonstration? Where?" asked an investigative
reporter from Fox Network.
Another new executive from ABC News
explained that unless a political rally draws more than 300,000 "we don't
consider it to be news worthy. It's just not relevant.
policy. We have to draw the line somewhere," she said. "Otherwise we'd be
covering every public exhibition, every county fair, every meeting, every pack
of radicals...We wouldn't have room to sell junk food or cell phones."
The Chicago Tribune source echoed the same song saying, "We don't feel
that 200,000 people out in the streets making a spectacle of themselves is of
interest to our readership."
So...the largest anti-war demonstration
since the beginning of the illegal war on Iraq was ignored even though all
those people came out to protest including some 250 military families and
hundreds of veterans (some from the Iraq war).
Demonstrations were also
held on that same day in London, Rome, Toronto and San Francisco. These
received front page coverage everywhere else but here.
"What would it
take to get the proper news coverage?" asked one protester. "Do we have to
occupy the White House? I hear it's pretty vacant these days anyway. Don't the
American people care what is being done in the name of their
"The media is not afraid of the Bush Administration as it well
should be," said another demonstrator. The owners of the papers and TV stations
are, rather, right there in bed with Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush."
Although few suggest that the leaders of this country are capable
enough to orchestrate a valid conspiracy to control the flow of information
many feel that the corporate ownership of major media dictates what news is
covered, what is spoon-fed fluff and what is dangerous, even subversive
In all fairness to the junta media, a pro-war rally,
drawing up to 400 people, did not get a lot of coverage either. According to
one mass media spokesman there wasn't room on the pages after printing the
names of servicemen recently killed in Iraq (and they don't even fool with
reporting how many Iraqis aren't around no mo')
Did you hear that
Haliburton has been awarded another lucrative contract to rebuild New Orleans?
I wonder what the Times-Picayune would say about that?