Washington Post Covers Protest of 35, But Not of 35,000?

So much for strength (or newsworthiness) in numbers. Inside Wednesday's Washington Post, reporter Michelle Boorstein covered a tiny protest inside the Hart Senate Office Building yesterday, where 35 were arrested. Last week, as many as 35,000 people protested in New York in support of Israel and against Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, featuring speakers like U.S. Ambassador John Bolton and Holocaust survivor and author Elie Wiesel -- which the Post ignored.The Boorstein article, complete with cover photo of a protester being removed in handcuffs, was strategically placed on A-14, just above the continuation of a heartbreaking article on the first female West Point graduate, a local woman, being killed in Iraq -- also accompanied by a color photo, of the burial. Boorstein reported on the Hart building protest in a typical way, where no one in attendance was the slightest bit liberal: "Dozens of police streamed into the atrium and arrested about 35 people, including Rick Ufford-Chase, who until recently was a top official of the Presbyterian Church (USA)." Boorstein tried to bolster the impressiveness of the tiny turnout:

Thirty-five additional antiwar demonstrators were arrested yesterday around the U.S. Capitol in related protests. Hundreds of antiwar actions have taken place across the country this week as faith-based and other groups push for a timetable for the United States to leave Iraq. Thirty-four people affiliated with the umbrella organization coordinating this week's efforts, Declaration of Peace, were arrested Thursday after they refused to leave the White House without talking with President Bush.Although leaders of major U.S. denominations have spoken against the Iraq war since it began, such proclamations are becoming louder and more prominent."Today was the first time national-level leaders were participating -- not just themselves but calling on members of denominations to join them," said Gordon Clark, coordinator of the D.C.-based National Campaign for Nonviolent Resistance. "And there's a big difference between going to a protest and putting your body on the line and resisting arrest. And that's what they haven't been doing before."Participating yesterday was Rabbi Arthur Waskow, head of an interfaith dialogue center in Philadelphia and a leader of the Jewish Renewal movement. Arrested in addition to Ufford-Chase was the Rev. Jackie Lynn, president of the Chicago-based Episcopal Peace Fellowship.

Last Thursday's protest also drew a Post article, and it also couldn't find a liberal, but read like a press release, listing all the protests to come. Reporter Sue Anne Pressley Montes began:

A group of ministers, veterans and peace activists attempted to deliver a "declaration of peace" to the White House yesterday, kicking off a week of vigils and other activities in 350 communities across the country calling for the prompt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.Thirty-four people were arrested here and charged with disorderly conduct after they demanded to speak with President Bush, then refused to leave the west gate of the White House. As part of an initiative of more than 400 groups, many of them religiously affiliated, the activists said they had to "bear moral witness" against the U.S. military role in Iraq.

But as Christopher Fotos pointed out at his PostWatch blog (and he cited blogger Meryl Yourish), thousands of pro-Israel protesters didn't get a mention in the WashPost last week, even online: 

The demonstration she's talking about--oh, you haven't heard about it either--drew "tens of thousands," and up to 35,000 according to various descriptions I've been able to find, not in the Washington Post, because like the rest of MSM it deemed it unworthy. And you know, much of the time you can find something in washingtonpost.com's feeds of Reuters and the Associated Press, but five pages of results show nothing....There's a Robin Wright story on A15, Iranian Leader Defends Controversial Stands, but it includes nothing about the demonstration in the very same city Wright occupied.
Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis