I believe it was Winston Churchill who once said, and I’m paraphrasing, “If you are young and not liberal, you have no heart. If you are old and not conservative, you have no head.” Well, it seems that the liberal newspaper that brought down a presidency is now growing up.
I like to quote the Washington Post fairly regularly when they print an article critical of the Bush administration – or, sometimes, the opposing side – but in the last 6 months or so they have begun a frightening slide to the right. Their editorials are consistently pro-war, even their editorial cartoons call for war. (I’ll explain my own views in the next day or so, I promise. Once I figure out what they are.)
Today, even the Post’s Ombudsman points out the strange lapses and omissions in the Post’s news coverage:
It was more than a year ago that the Bush administration shifted its public focus from Osama bin Laden to Saddam Hussein. By the end of summer, as the administration made known its strategy for preemptive war and signs of a military buildup began to appear, signs of dissent also emerged.
But looking back over Sunday ombudsman columns and reader challenges during that time and up through today, there is a pattern in the news pages of missing, underplaying or being late on various blips with respect to public voices of dissent or uncertainty.
They started last August with the failure to record promptly the doubts of then-House Majority Leader Richard K. Armey (R-Tex.) and of Brent Scowcroft, the first President Bush’s national security adviser. The first public hearings on the implications of war, held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, got just a few paragraphs at the end of stories. In September, there was no spot coverage of the testimony of three retired four-star generals before the Senate Armed Services Committee warning against an attack without exhausting diplomatic options and gaining United Nations backing. Soon after, a widely reported speech by Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) got one line in The Post, and large antiwar rallies in London and Rome went unreported the next day. In October, when more than 100,000 people gathered in Washington to protest war, the paper put the story in the Metro section. Then came complaints that a major speech by Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.), one of the few senators who has taken a strong antiwar position, was missed and that the story about the most recent bin Laden audiotape failed to point out bin Laden’s description of Iraqi leaders as “infidels.” An overflow town meeting on war policy in Alexandria was missed. A rare story last month estimating the cost of the war, which was front-page news elsewhere, ran on Page A19. The congressional testimony the following day of Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, who discounted those cost estimates and who described as “wildly off the mark” previous testimony by the Army chief of staff that hundreds of thousands of troops might be needed for occupation duty, was not reported.
The spurious charges of a “liberal media” are becoming more and more ridiculous. What can we do when the most liberal of the established media becomes less reliable and, at worst, blatantly biased by not covering opposing viewpoints?
I’ll say it again: the continued polarization of our nation is going to be it’s undoing. Only yesterday, during anti-war protests, the pro-war faction was screaming that the anti-war faction was un-American, un-patriotic, and composed of traitors. I submit to these morons that the act of protest is the most pro-American thing you can do. The voicing of dissenting opinion and the questioning of leaders is what makes this country so great. It should be a mandatory activity. It IS America. Unquestioning, sheep-like following of anything the leader demands is not what this country is about, and never has been. It’s what we’ve always fought against, and what the next war is to be combating. Both sides of this protest movement need to stop and thing about this.