Tuesday, September 27, 2005

An MSM paper helps the Left: Chapter 1


Last Saturday's "anti-war" rally in Washington, D.C. was a serious challenge for Raleigh's News & Observer, one of the McClatchy Organization's most profitable newspapers.

As a liberal, perhaps really a Leftist news organization, The N&O naturally wanted to report the rally in the most favorable way possible.

But N&O staffers knew there was so much about the rally - its goals, organizers, speakers and participants, - that would disgust, even anger, many of its readers..

So how could The N&O report the rally in a way that was sympathetic to the Left without alienating many N&O readers? It was a tough problem.

If you doubt that, consider just two examples of what N&O staffers faced as they prepared to report the rally "sunny side up."

There was first the problem of the rally's principal sponsor: International A.N.S.W.E.R.

N&O staffers knew if their readers went to A.N.S.W.E.R.'s web site they'd learn that besides supporting the terrorist al-Zarqawi's demand that American and other coalition forces immediately withdraw from Iraq, A.N.S.W.E.R. wants an end to what it calls America's "threats against Venezuela, Cuba, Iran & North Korea"; an American "withdrawal from Puerto Rico" (I'm not kidding); and a ban of military recruiters from not just our schools but from every one of our communities. If you doubt what I'm saying , go here to A.N.S.W.E.R.'s web site. It's all there.

A second problem for The N&O was the rally speakers and what they represent. Example: Lynne Stewart, an attorney recently convicted of aiding the jailed terrorist Omar Abdul Rahman by passing information to his terrorist supporters in Egypt. Rahman was the spiritual leader of the group that carried out the first World Trade Center bombing and was planning to blow up the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels connecting New York City and New Jersey.

Another speaker was former attorney-general Ramsey Clark who protested America's treatment of Saddam after his capture and expressed his belief Saddam was innocent of the charges brought against him.

Clark's love for the Left is nothing new. For decades he's praised Jane Fonda for her Vietnam War trip to Hanoi during which she expressed support for our then enemies who were holding and torturing American servicemen.

N&O staffers knew A.N.S.W.E.R., Stewart, and Clark's actions and goals posed a serious threat to their reporting plans. They had to act quickly if they were to have any chance of reporting the rally in Sunday's editions as a "sunny side up" event.

Staffers agreed they'd do what journalists refer to as "just leave it out." The term pretty much means what it says, and is easily understood even by people with little or no training in professional journalism.

Thus it happened that The N&O's rally reporting made no mention of its principal sponsor or of speakers such as Lynne Stewart and Ramsay Clark.

The N&O had managed a major news problem.

Tomorrow, in Chapter 2, we'll learn some of what reporter and author Christopher Hitchens said about the rally and its organizers. He'll tell us things The N&O didn't. We'll also look at how The N&O dealt with the anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rally activities

NOTE: The N&O's rally story appeared Sunday, Sept. 25, on pg. 3A. I'm sorry I can't provide a link to it but The N&O is available in most North Carolina public and university libraries. For Lexis/Nexis searches, use the identifying information already given as well as the lead: War protesters march in D.C.


Anonymous said...

I kept reading your post until you got to the "just leave it out" part - which is where I disagree with you.

I've come to believe that the MSM is so fundamentally uncurious that they don't actually KNOW what the history of these groups is.

See, as liberals, they are so much basically smarter (don't tell Summers!) than everyone else they can figure out the Truth from just observing the event in real-time.

How nice for them - no research necessary.