WaPo Strangely Silent About Sen. Reid Blaming Marine Deaths on Sequester
If you peruse the Washington Post online, you’d notice that the top five stories didn’t even mention Harry Reid’s egregious comments about the seven Marines that were killed in Nevada yesterday. Likewise, although the fatal training accident itself was reported on page A3, Reid's comments were nowhere in the March 20 print edition.
On the Senate floor yesterday, Reid suggested a link between their deaths and the current budget sequestration. Here's what the Nevada Democrat said which the capital city's newspaper of record apparently finds unremarkable:
As I indicated, it was quite a big explosion. We'll follow this news very closely. I will do whatever I can going forward to support the United States military and the families of the fallen Marines.
Mr. President, it's very important we continue training our military, so important. But one of the things in sequester is we cut back in training and maintenance. That's the way sequester was written. Now, the bill that's on the floor, we hope to pass today helps that a little bit. At least in the next six months, it allows the military some degree of ability to move things around a little bit. Flexibility, we call it, and that's good. But we have to be very vigilant. This sequester should go away. We have cut already huge amounts of money in deficit reduction. It's just not appropriate, Mr. President, that our military can't train and do the maintenance necessary.
These men and women, our Marines were training there in Hawthorne. And with this sequester, it's going to cut back this stuff. I just hope everyone understands the sacrifices made by our military. They are significant, being away from home, away from families, away from their country.
This should most certainly be a front-page story, as the Marine Corps is livid with Reid. Yesterday, NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski noted that:
Marine Corps officials this afternoon are taking a strong exception to what Harry Reid implied. Saying that this this exercise, for example, was planned well in advance, had nothing to do with the budget cuts. There were no corners cut, and if they couldn't afford to have all the safety precautions into place, they wouldn't do the exercise.
Real Clear Politics noted yesterday “ in fact, one Marine Corps official told us a short time ago that he considers this nothing but pure political posturing on the backs of these dead Marines.”
The Washington Post is not alone in ignoring the controversy. As my colleague Scott Whitlock reported, all three broadcast networks ignored the story on their March 19 evening newscasts and March 20 morning programs.