WashPost Hails Leftist 'Peace' Vandals, Placing Them on the Side of 'Morality and Conscience'

The Washington Post and reporter Dan Zak returned to bowing before the radical-left  “Prophets of Oak Ridge” as their trial began Tuesday. The protesters broke into a nuclear-weapons production facility last July and hammered a wall and vandalized it with human blood. The headline at the top of Wednesday’s Style section was “Protest and protocol vie in anti-nuclear activists’ Tenn. trial.”

Zak began by putting the leftists on the side of “morality and conscience” and the national-security apparatus on the side of “protocol and budgets.” That’s funny, we could have put our nation’s defenders on the side of “morality and conscience,” and these radicals on the side of “vandalism and political exhibitionism” (or just “breaking and entering”):

From 9 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. Tuesday, morality and conscience did quiet battle with protocol and budgets in Courtroom 1A of U.S. District Court, to which dozens of supporters marched that morning through downtown Knoxville, led by two Buddhist monks chanting a Japanese prayer for peace.

As usual, mere "dozens" of left-wing protesters are newsworthy, and they are not described as ideologically liberal or leftist. Inside the section on page C-9, the headline was similar: “Debate over morality vs. security plays out in Tenn. trial.” This implies the national-security position is amoral or immoral.

The government’s position was represented in the story, but as cold and clinical (“protocols and budgets”).  The “peace activist” side was again highlighted. The pull quote in large text came from one of the protesters’ attorneys, Christopher Irwin: “They had white roses, Bibles . . . no dynamite, no machine guns . . . none of the tools you’d anticipate someone having to hinder the national defense.”

Property-destroying vandalism is cast as "nonviolent." I wonder if Dan Zak would feel that way if someone hammered and poured blood on the walls of his house. The Post laid out the protesters’ ideological self-defense:

We believe the work at Y-12 contributes to false security,” [Greg] Boertje-Obed, who is representing himself, said in his opening statement. “Nuclear weapons are an illusion of security. . . . Our message, our mission, is we need to transform the U.S. role in the world.”

Boertje-Obed told the jurors that they are “the conscience of the community” and ended his statement by quoting the Book of Hebrews: “If today you hear God’s voice, harden not your hearts.”

Once again, Zak placed God on the side of the hippies with hammers, and not with people who build a deterrent that has kept America free and the world free of nuclear war.

Last week, Zak and the Post unloaded 10,000 words and seven pages of content (complete with paintings) in honor of this pacifist break-in.

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