Huge Difference Between WashPost Coverage of Anti-War vs. Anti-Abortion Protests

Within one week, the liberal bias of the The Washington Post is made perfectly obvious. On Monday, tens of thousands of protesters emerged on Washington for the March for Life, but the hometown paper put the story on the bottom of page A-10 Tuesday morning. On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters emerged on Washington for a rally against President Bush and the war in Iraq. The Post blasted that story across the front page on Sunday, complete with a large color picture taking a wide shot of hundreds of marchers and their signs and banners. Tuesday’s story on abortion protests matched carried no wide shot of hundreds. It showed four pro-life marchers, and matched them with another picture of five feminists counter-protesting. There were no photos of conservative counter-protesters in the Sunday paper.The Post not only let the anti-Iraq rally dominate the front page, but devoted an entire page (A-8) to more photos and a story on student protesters. The front-page story carried over to most of page A-9. Jane Fonda’s appearance at the march drew another story, placed on the front page of the Style section. The lead story was headlined "Thousands Protest Bush Policy: As Senate Prepares to Debate Troop Increase, Demonstrators Demand War’s End." Inside, the story carried the headine "Opposition to War Is Growing, Protesters Say." It could be said that an anti-abortion rally seems to have little impact, given liberal Democrats now lead both the House and Senate. But it could also be said that the surge of troops to Iraq is under way, and non-binding Senate or House resolutions aren’t going to stop it. On the top of page A-8, the headline was "Thousands of Voices Send A Clear Message" over five color photos of protesters. At the bottom of the page was a story titled "Student Protesters, Fighting Image of Apathy, Call for a Cohesive Movement." Reporter Megan Greenwell even interviewed former Weather Underground member Mark Rudd, but didn’t mention that what she called a "revolutionary group" were self-proclaimed communists who advocated the overthrow of the democratic government of the United States. The lead story by Michael Ruane and Frederick Kunkle had a very typical, even gooey beginning emphasizing the diversity of the marchers:

A raucous and colorful multitude of protesters, led by some of the aging activists of the past, staged a series of rallies and a march on the Capitol yesterday to demand that the United States end its war in Iraq.Under a blue sky with a pale midday moon, tens of thousands of people angry about the war and other policies of the Bush administration danced, sang, shouted and chanted their opposition.They came from across the country and across the activist spectrum, with a wide array of grievances. Many seemed to be under 30, but there were others who said they had been at the famed war protests of the 1960s and '70s.

Inside, Ruane and Kunkel quoted Democratic leaders, but never asked if an inflamed anti-war movement could turn on Democrats or cause internal party divisions. The reported that a 10 am rally sponored by "the peace group CODEPINK" featured speeches by Reps. Dennis Kucinich, Maxine Waters, and Lynn Woolsey. Tom Daschle seemed to promise the protest size will only grow:

"Its primary value is that it keeps up the pressure," said former Senate Democratic leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota. "There is a sense that by summer, a march like this will be two or three times as large."

The Post duo did reproduce some of the Tim Robbins Bush-Is-Like-Hitler screed:

Robbins mocked President Bush, urging Congress to impeach him."Let's get him out of office before he's ruling from a bunker," Robbins said."Impeach Bush!'' the crowd began to chant, interspersed with a few shouts of "And Cheney!""Richard Nixon talked to the walls," Robbins continued. "But George Bush is talking to God. But it is not a God I recognize. This God seems to be giving Bush a pass" on some commandments.

The top of the front-page was a perfect lineup of Liberal News: the protest story was flanked on the lert by "Vietnam Shades [Sen. John] Warner's Iraq Stand," and flanked on the right by "Clinton Begins Her Run In Earnest."

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