WaPo Promotes Story That 9-12 Marchers Are Racist: 'They Don't Even Know What They Are Protesting'

On Sunday, the home page of the Washington Post website buried the 9-12 rally in tiny type, while the rotating photos at the top of the page were all local stories. On Monday, one of those rotating photos highlighted a Post story on the front of the Metro section on how people attending the Black Family Reunion think that tens of thousands of Americans came to Washington not because they love freedom, but because they hate black people. Metro reporter Yamiche Alcindor began:

On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters thronged to the U.S. Capitol to angrily accuse President Obama of taking the country in the wrong direction. A day later, in the shadow of the Washington Monument, many participants at a much smaller gathering -- the 24th annual Black Family Reunion -- said the level of hostility toward the nation's first African American president had little to do with policy differences over health care or taxes and everything to do with race. "It' s not conducive to the coalitions we need to build in this country," said Vera Hope, 60, of Mount Rainier as she left a booth promoting health prevention. "I'm disgusted and upset by the hostility. Let's call it was it is -- it's just a disguise for right-wing racists. They are fomenting a climate of violence to provoke people."

The Post’s headline for this nasty smear was "Seeking Healing, Seeing Hostility." Alcindor didn’t highlight one person who suggested conservatives were racists, and not principled free-marketeers. She found two:

Colleen Freeman, 50, said many of Obama's critics are motivated by race. "A lot of people are protesting, and they don't even know what they are protesting," she said. "Some of these folks are getting Social Security, and it's because their grandparents put in the work for it. Now they won't give Obama a chance to work. Some know they need health care but don't want it to be Obama that gives it to them."

The Post itself admits the Black Family Reunion was a much smaller event. So why did it draw much more prominent placement and promotion on the Post home page than the 9-12 rally? Alcindor and the Post made no attempt to explain that this was an event thrown by a liberal lobbying group that opposes black people in government who are not liberals, like Clarence Thomas and Janice Rogers Brown:

Dorothy Height, president of National Council of Negro Women, which holds the reunion, said that although she was pleased that the protesters and the reunion participants coexisted peacefully, she was disappointed that some marchers were so crass. "They are a bad sign for democracy," said Height, 97, who supports health-care reform. "I've never heard anyone say that they wished the other presidents would fail," she said. "President Obama has shown courage and leadership in trying to tackle various problems."

Crass? How can the Post line up the repeated suggestion that tens of thousands of American are too dumb to know what they’re protesting and then accuse the marchers of being crass?

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis